Author at work: Inspiration

InspirationInspiration comes from the strangest of places and circumstances. As I mentioned last week, I’d been working on Chapter 7 of Sirena. At one point in the plot, Penelope is asked to sing the very same two songs she sang in Chapter 5 of Urban Mermaid. If you don’t remember, it’s the scene where Peter hears Penelope singing in the motel room adjoining his. She has a beautiful voice and we see Peter really starting to fall for her.

The scene in Chapter 7 is only a minor recapitulation of the one in the first book so readers need not worry that I’m recycling material from Urban Mermaid.

As I was cobbling the scene for Chapter 7, I found my mind drifting back in time to the point where I first conceived Penelope’s ability to sing. It suddenly struck me – like the proverbial bolt from the blue – that I had heard Penelope’s voice, before. The inspiration for her voice came from a girl who favoured me with a bit of her time decades ago. She had a wonderful voice and sang in her high school chorus. No doubt, the inspiration for Penelope and her friends singing came – at least partially – from that source as well.

After all these years, that girl and I are still friends and I just had to send her a text message explaining what I had discovered. It was ten minutes before eleven PM when I tapped the send button but she was gracious enough to accept the accolade and inform me that she sings just as much today as she did way back when.

I immediately dubbed her my musical muse. There’s no pay to go with the position and I’m not sure that the title is worth all that much, either. Nonetheless, it’s amazing how incidents and voices from the past still call to us, decades later.

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