MY GREATEST INSPIRATION: “WHAT IF…” by Orren Merton
Inspiration hits me anywhere, from everything, and seemingly all the time. It could be something I watch on TV. Perhaps it’s a bit of news, either good or bad. Maybe I read an article. Or someone says something to me, that makes me think. Sometimes I’ll go somewhere, and the environment will inspire me. Or maybe it will just inspire me to think, and my own thoughts trigger me. But no matter what it is or where I am, the common denominator is two words: “what if?”
The ideas for every piece of fiction I’ve ever written has ultimately stemmed from me thinking “what if…” and building up a story, and sometimes an entire universe, from there. With the Sedumen Chronicles, it was a couple of different “what ifs” that resulted in both my heroine, Firebird Alex, and the entire spirit universe of Sediin.
I knew I wanted to write a series that was more geared toward young adults than my previous urban fantasy and science fiction, and I was thinking about all the heroines I knew from comics. I felt that nobody had really done a teenage girl who was half-demon very well. So I started asking myself, well, what if I invented a teenage heroine? What would her powers be? Her weaknesses? How would she feel, trying to fit in as a normal girl? Would she be able to have normal friendships? What would other people think of her?
Separately, I’d been thinking about parallel universes, and how they could be different than ours. What if, instead of being composed of matter, like ours, it was a universe entirely of spirits? What would that be like? Who would live there? Why would they want to cross over into our world? What would that be like? Would they be kind or cruel? Or both?
When I combined the two “what ifs,” I began to create an entire mythology, along with my heroine: Firebird Alex. And The Sedumen Chronicles was born, all leading up to Watcher and Firebird now.
And that’s the best advice I can give as far as inspiration go: wherever you are, whatever you do, whatever you see and feel, ask yourself “what if”—and be ready for wherever your imagination takes you.
Synopsis: Firebird Alex didn’t know much about the Nephilim until they assassinated her friend in the United States government, kidnapped the man she considers her uncle, and tried to murder her—twice. Now she’s learned that they, and their leader “the Watcher,” will stop at nothing to kill her, everyone she loves, and every Seduman on Earth.
Alex must stop their murderous plans even if it means compromising the heroine she’s become.
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