Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author and Giveaway: Lori Brighton on Inspirations and Influences

“Inspiration and Influences” is a new series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspiration and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

Our guest today is debut author Lori Brighton. Her first book, Wild Heart (released last week by Kensington Books) is a paranormal historical romance with a bit of mystery on the side, and the first in a series. You can read more about the book here. We are happy to open the floor to the author so that she can talk about the inspiration behind the story.

Ladies and gents, Lori Brighton:

One of the most common questions an author receives is where do you get your ideas? It’s rather like asking a bird how they fly and for a brief moment there’s usually a confused pause as we frantically search for something to say. If we’re lucky a memory will come to mind, something seemingly insignificant, yet important for the basic fact that the tiny detail, that tiny moment, started the ball rolling. For my debut book, Wild Heart, that significant moment started with a children’s cartoon.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start where most things start…at the beginning. I got my imagination and creativity from my mom, a woman who writes poetry and always has a book in hand. As a child I read, a lot, but I never really wanted to be a writer. The grammar rules that went along with English class bored me to tears. It didn’t stop me from making up stories in my mind. When I was upset or bored, it was the perfect time to retreat into my make-believe world. Also, growing up in a family with little money to travel, forced me to use my imagination; it was the only way I could go places. ?

Then one fateful day when I was around sixteen years old, I discovered Julie Garwood. Instantly I fell in love. England, Scotland, alpha heroes and that suspenseful adventure she does so well, all influenced how I would write my own books. I’d always been interested in history, but now it was romantic. Living in the Midwest in the U.S. I was surrounded by the Victorian Era, so its not surprising that my books often take place during this era. It’s also the time period in which one of my favorite books takes place, Jane Eyre.

You can find the influence of Charlotte’s gothic writing style in my own book. It’s also that dark, gothic style that has fueled my interest in the paranormal. I’ve always enjoyed the paranormal. I’m pretty sure we lived in a haunted house when I was a child. When I wrote Wild Heart, it seemed almost natural to add the paranormal element. I figured by adding in the paranormal, it would make it more unique.

So how did Wild Heart come about? This is going to sound odd, but the Disney Cartoon Tarzan.

My son was watching it a few years back. Around the same time, I saw a documentary on Discovery or some equally educational channel about feral children. I’d seen them both rather close together and thought, hmm, what would it be like if my hero had been lost in the wild during his childhood? And so with one little question, a book was born.

So what about you? Who or what has influenced where you are at this moment? Leave a comment. Two people will win a copy of my debut book, Wild Heart.

A big thank you to Lori Brighton and good luck to all who enter! Contest is open to US and Canada residents and runs till Saturday 14th November 11:59 PM (Pacific). Go!

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  • Edie
    November 11, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Lori, I love what you say about the confused pause while searching your mind for your book’s inspiration. I’m glad you remember, because your inspiration is interesting. 🙂

    (Don’t enter me in the giveaway. I already won a book. 🙂 )

  • Rebecca B
    November 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Love the post!

    I’m also someone who grew up a voracious reader (Thanks Mom and Dad!), and I’ve always “told myself” stories. It is only in recent years have I attempted to write them down. But whether it’s writing an academic paper or a story, music always plays a large role. Both have “soundtracks.” Academic papers are requiems. Going poorly=Mozart’s Requiem. A good pace= Fauré’s Requiem. Great paper=Verdi’s Requiem, and so on in between 🙂 Creative writing (and reading) have more varied soundtracks, but I am always inspired and influenced by music. LIstening to something I haven’t heard for months can change my entire day (for the better!)

    The book looks excellent. Can’t wait to get it!

  • Maureen
    November 11, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hi Lori,
    I have to say my mother was my biggest influence. She is also a big reader and is always there to help.

  • katiebabs
    November 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I adore Julie Garwood. If only she wrote historicals again.

  • AnimeJune
    November 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I have only one Julie Garwood on my TBR (Saving Grace), but I’ve been interested in Wild Heart since RWA 2009. I’m writing an historical(ish) paranormal myself, so I’m always interested in how other authors are doing it! *LOL*

  • Marial
    November 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I am greatful to my parents, who severly monitored my television habits. We also only had one tv, so it was usually only turned on to the channels they wanted to watch.
    Since I couldn’t watch the shows I liked, I turned to books. I read voraciously…and because they didn’t pay too much attention to what I was reading, I probably read romances etc wayyy to early than I should have, LOL…

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  • Christine
    November 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Wild Heart sounds wonderful. My first romance reading passion was for paranormals, but I’ve taken a huge liking to historical romances lately. This book sounds like it’s got the best of both worlds. I’d love to win a copy.

    I think my husband has had the most profound influence on me, especially way back when I was a college student and graduate. His perceptions and impressions of the world were so different from mine and he really helped open my eyes to the world beyond the one that centered around me.

  • MaryK
    November 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Ooh, I love hero-was-a-feral-child books! Will definitely take a look at Wild Heart.

  • Lori Brighton
    November 11, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for stopping by everyone! I really appreciate it!

    Edie, your book is coming soon! I promise! I’m so behind on sending out winning books!
    Great comment Rebecca! I love using music, especially with historicals/classical music. Good luck with your writing!
    My mom was a huge influence on my childhood and I’ll always be grateful to her for that.
    As for Julie Garwood, I interviewed her on my blog awhile back and she swears she is going to do more historicals! Problem is, what you write a lot of times is influenced by your publisher.

  • RKCharron
    November 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thanks for the great post Lori. I really enjoyed it.
    My choices have led me to where I am today and my family, friends and teachers have influenced who I am today as well as the books I have read.
    All the best,

  • Sandy(Strlady)
    November 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    My creative outlet is more crafty and I get inspired by all the women that came before me. I’m a quilter and looking over old quilts always inspires me. It’s a bit like writers that are influenced by the classics.
    I listen to many of my books while I’m cutting fabric or sewing some seams but I always have a paperback next to my bed and this one will have to be added to the TBR pile. Tarzan has always been a favorite for me as was Jungle book. The concept of the Wild man returning to civilization is full of romantic possibilities. I can’t wait to read your book.

  • Valerie
    November 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I’d have to say my biggest influences in life to date, the people who put me on my current careert path and changed the way I see/think about the world and society, were English professor Chris Juzwiak and anthropologist Wendy Fonarow. They’re both brilliant people with unique world views, and excellent teachers. I would not be who I am today woithout these two wonderful people.

    This book sounds really interesting. I’ve seen a lot of those programs about feral children, and find the topic fascinating! (Not to mention my own son has watched Disney’s Tarzan on loop periodically for the past few years)

  • Bridget Locke
    November 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    My mother is my biggest influence. She understood my love of the written word at a young age and went out of her way to keep me supplied with books. She’s also a published poet and is the smartest person I know. 🙂

  • Roxy
    November 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    My husband is my inspiration. He is such a hard worker, it motivates me to be better. He’s always very supportive of me too. Its funny because we think completely different. He has made me more open minded and helped me get rid of a narrow view of the world.

  • Lisa Garrett
    November 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    My mother made an avid reader out of me. We lived in the country and there weren’t a lot of kids to play with. She subscribed me to book clubs and I remember hot summer afternoons waiting for the mailman to bring a new book. I would spend all afternoon lost in a different world.

  • Morganne W.
    November 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    the music i listen 2 and the books i read. as an obsessive reader, i can always rely on books to give me ideas. the book sounds great 8) .

  • Marie
    November 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I would have to say that my family has been the greatest influence in my life and continue to do so today. I don’t think I’ll ever meet a set of people who so inspire me as well as set my temper off.

  • Jenny N
    November 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I would say my parents they have always supported me and pushed me to be who I am today.

  • Lori Brighton
    November 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I just wanted to thank you all again for stopping by! I loved reading all of your comments!

  • Raelena
    November 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    My mother is my biggest influence.

  • Patty
    November 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I always tell people I’m growing up to be just like my mom- and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Since I have mostly grown-up children and my mom will be 73 in 2 weeks, it’s safe to say she has had a strong influence on my life. At this point we have a great time sharing books. I’ve totally turned her on to my historical romances; I’m not sure she would like the fantasy or paranormal books I read, though!

  • Lori Brighton
    November 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Reading these, I think its interesting to see how many moms have influenced their children. It makes me want to be a better mom to my son!

  • heatherzilla
    November 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I would say growing up, my mother and my grandmothers had the biggest influence on me. As an adult, it would be my husband.

    I am also a Julie Garwood fan, and I would love for her to go back to the historical novels. I recently re-read The Wedding, one of my favorites.

    The premise of Wild Heart is intriguing. I read the excerpt and I am interested to see what happens with Leo and Ella.

  • Amanda
    November 12, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Right now I’m working in a medical library and attending grad school for my MLIS. What led me to choose this career? An excellent undergrad work-study job at a library and a supervisor who randomly told me one day that I’d make an excellent librarian.

  • Nicole Downing
    November 12, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I think I draw influences from all over the place depending on the situation…my parents, my professors, my friends, or a great book!

  • Kim
    November 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    My parents are my biggest influence.

    I always enjoyed Tarzan’s story. So this is an interesting premise.

  • Wanda
    November 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    My kids influenced where I am today. After they were born I made the decision to stay home for them. They are all grown up now and I’ve never regretted my decision. My life would probably be much different if I hadn’t made that decision.

  • CeciliaH
    November 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    My Mom & Dad read to me every night before bedtime when I was young. Now Mom & I are avid readers. My Dad was always reading something…including the encyclopedia…while he was alive, too.

    When my two sons came along, I always read to them every night before bed as my parents previously did for me. I’d have to say my parents and two sons have been a big influence in how I view life from all stages of its continuing big circle.

    I’m always reading something and would love to also read your book!


  • Jane
    November 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    My life has been influenced by my family, friends and education. A lot of my views were formed by what I’ve learned in school through books and teachers. Congrats on the new release, Lori.

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    November 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    My English teachers from Junior High has a huge influence in who I am today. Without them, I would have never discovered the love for reading.

  • Sarah D. F.
    November 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I am going through school to become a teacher. My sophomore history teacher inspired me and helped me make my career choice.

    I love the cover of this book, very pretty. I am excited to be entered to win 🙂

  • Collette
    November 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I think one of the things that influenced me most was dropping out of college when I was 19. That failure propelled me to go back later, finish school, do well in the world of work. It helped me figure out that yes, I’m going to fail sometimes but it’s okay and I can get past it.

    This book sounds great!

  • CherylS22
    November 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve had several big influences in my life – my parents, grandparents, mentors.

    I’m looking forward to reading your new book – it looks like a good start to a new series. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • pamelia
    November 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Overarching influence from my parents of course, but I will ALWAYS remember the seemingly random moments of encouragement given to me by a few respected teachers here or there. You expect your parents (hopefully) to be supportive and encouraging, but when a teacher went out of her or his way to single out one of my talents it really stuck with me.

  • Sarah
    November 14, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Haha, I love the interesting places inspiration comes from. I think I saw this at the book store earlier today (if not then I refer to your other post on homogeneity) and it seemed interesting…

  • Beth (BBRB)
    November 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    My friends and family have influenced me the most.

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

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