Where do I find inspiration?

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(Image by fiach from Pixabay)

I hate the question. Where do I find inspiration? It’s one of those open-ended questions that causes my mind to go blank. Just…blank. No ideas. Nothing.

So I thought I’d share where I got the initial inspiration for a few of my different books.

– the Blackbird Series: a crazy dream I had the week before NaNoWriMo started.

– After the Scrum: I made the mistake of watching 7 Nation rugby a week before NaNoWriMo one year.

– Royal Marine: Bake Off. Seriously. I binge-watched a few seasons of it, and Akash sprung from that.

– One Last Heist: Ocean’s Eleven.

– Motts: Motts was inspired by two things. One, the idea of someone naming their child after the food they crave while pregnant. Two, the series Rosemary & Thyme.

– My current WIP is inspired by Britain’s Secret Treasures, a show all about the artifacts people find while using metal detectors.

– Cosplay Killer was inspired in part by this:

– Pure Dumb Luck: I saw a news story about someone winning the lottery and sharing it with their best friend.

If you’re an author, where do you find inspiration for your books?

Autistic Author advice…

…for autistic (and neurodivergent) authors.

There is so much advice online for authors. The vast majority of it always seems to be focused on neurotypical authors. It’s something I’ve always found to be quite frustrating.

Much of that advice is often something that is no help to me at all. In fact, I’ve usually found it can be detrimental to my writing process. So I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve found work for me.

I’m not an expert in anything aside from my own process.

1. If writing blog posts feels like too much? Do bullet points.

2. Make a daily to-do lists and if even one thing is crossed off–that’s a win.

3. Do creative work in the morning. I seem to be at my most creative early in the day. Whatever your ‘on’ time is, do the writing stuff then.

4. If editing is causing anxiety, do one edit/one page/fix one issue per day until it’s done.

5. Using Pomodoro Study With Me videos as a way to get things done when I’m struggling to focus:

6. If emails are stressing me out, I close out my inbox. I’ve found the majority of emails can wait. The world doesn’t end if I can’t respond immediately.

7. Boundaries matter.

8. No matter what ‘all the experts’ say. I have to find a way to make social media work for me.

9. Some days, I just can’t write. There’s no shame in taking a break.

Book Review: Crown Court Killer

crown court killer_frontcover300Dannel and Osian have a beautiful relationship, and it almost doesn’t matter what they’re doing— planning a wedding while suffering through dealing with overly enthusiastic family members, making a true crime podcast, having dinner, solving a murder— it’s still enjoyable just to watch them interact. Their story here could stand alone, but it’s definitely worth reading the previous books (more time spent with these characters would be reason enough) as well. I love how well they fit together and how they care for and about each other, and I also love (most) of the web of supporting characters who move through their lives. This is a cozy mystery where the focus is on the characters and the chance to see them go about their lives, and somehow solve crimes along the way, and I’m absolutely here for it— I hope these guys have many more adventures to come as well.

~ Four stars, Coffee on Amazon

Four Days of Silence

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I took four days off social media a few weeks ago. I was finding myself completely overwhelmed. Something I’ve always struggled with, but since 2020 it’s only gotten worse. So I gave myself permission to take a break.

I thought I’d share a few things that I learned in those four days.

  1. I check Social Media, Twitter especially, far too often.
  2. I have no need for social media apps on my phone. And I’ve removed them.
  3. A constant deluge of ‘news’ is terrible for my mental health.
  4. The world didn’t end because I wasn’t immediately informed of things happening.
  5. I am in control of my social media timeline. There’s nothing wrong with muting/blocking people and tags. Boundaries are healthy.

The biggest takeaway for me was that I need to be giving myself a break from social media more often. I never realized how often I was just doomscrolling for no reason at all. So I’m trying to learn to set boundaries.

Do you struggle with too much time online?

Book Review: Crown Court Killer

crown court killer_frontcover300“I love this series. Dannel and Osian have a wonderful relationship and I enjoy their interactions with friends and family too. The mystery, as with others in the series, has several twists and turns, and isn’t easily solved. “

~ Five Stars, Anne Barwell

A few of Motts’ favourite things.

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(not counting her cat, turtle, and friends lol.)

More specifically, here’s a few of Motts’s favourite Christmas things.

  1. Mince Pies (also, my favourite holiday thing)
  2. Making Gifts
  3. Faery lights, mostly the non-flashing variety
  4. Holiday cardigans
  5. Walking with her Granddad on Christmas Eve
  6. Her nan’s special treats
  7. Vlogmas from her favourite YouTube channels

Her least favourite things:

  1. Carolling.

Really, that’s it. Carolling. A nightmare for Motts.

What are your favourite holiday things?

Book Review: Crown Court Killer

crown court killer_frontcover300Dannel and Osian continue to be the perfect couple for this series of cozy m/m mysteries. Here, their friend Wayne is accused of murder and the more they investigate, the clearer it becomes that there are powerful forces who do not want the truth to come out. The mystery is nicely offset by the wedding these two are trying to plan despite meddling from their families and it’s lovely to see an established couple investigating together. Long may this series continue.

~ Five stars, Susie Umphers on Amazon