I will never stop getting inspiration from the people I meet. I find it fascinating when people say they’re stumped for ideas: have you been outside, lately? There’s a jungle of people out there (and not all of them are nice!).
At this point I’m going to clarify, the people I meet are good inspiration. However, I don’t then create characters based on these people. Sure, I may incorporate elements, be they physical or mental, but you won’t open my book and find, say, my mum staring out at you from the pages. I promise the voices in my head are real and entirely indepdently fictitious (and so are the people in my books).
Take the other week, for example. My poor fiance got quite sick, so we had to go in to the ER. While we were there, I met a woman who I spoke to at length. She was there because a possum had bitten off a part of her thumb.
No, I’m not kidding.
Yes, I found it weird too.
Feeding it. That’s what she was doing.
Now, surely that was story inspiration enough, but then she went deeper. On her admission form they’d written that there was a chance they’d have to amputate her thumb.
The poor lady was, understandably, petrified.
When staff went to admit her and move her to a room with a bed so she could sleep, she panicked.
“I’ll fall asleep and you’ll cut it off!”
“No, we won’t,” the nurse said. “That is a worst-case scenario, and would be an option we’d look at down the track if gangrene set in. You can go to sleep.”
“No!” The woman protested. I should add, it was 1am. I felt like offering to take her bed if she wasn’t planning on using it.
“Don’t let them take me.” She begged me. “I’d rather die than lose my thumb!”
That was when inspiration struck, for me. Even though it had been explained as an unlikely possibility, the thought of losing her thumb had struck a chord deep within her. It was a risk she wasn’t willing to take, even though the odds were stacked in her favour.
It made me question: what other unlikely things would stop people receiving help or comfort?
And what if those things were real?
Thanks again to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for creating Thursday’s Children. To see others participating in this blog hop, click here.