Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Spark Blogfest

Thank you to Christine Tyler at The Writer Coaster for hosting this awesome Sparkfest!

Here are the three prompts Christine provided for the Sparkfest: 

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer? 
What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?
Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

I decided to answer prompt #2, as it is the easiest one for me. The author who set off the spark for my current WIP is Elizabeth George, author of the Thomas Lynley mysteries. 

I started reading the Lynley novels way back in the 90s, and I have loved them from the beginning. I love psychological suspense, and I love mysteries that focus as much on character development as they do on the mystery plot. The best series to me are the ones that take the reader through changes in the protagonist's life as the novels progress, and this is exactly what happens with George's books. 

While the main character in my novel has nothing in common with Lynley beyond the fact that he is also a detective, I was still inspired by Lynley when creating him in my mind. I wanted to write a flawed protagonist who doesn't always have the best judgement, and isn't some kind of Superman who can instantly solve a case without any mistakes. 

My character's name is Danny Fitzpatrick, and he is a Los Angeles detective who is originally from Chicago, but transferred to LA to start a new life after a tragedy in his personal life. While I am in the very early stages of writing about Danny, my dream is to be as prolific as Ms. George has been, and have Danny's life play out in a series just as Lynley's has. 

I know that writing a best-selling series that spans decades is a tall order, but I figure if you're going to dream, you might as well dream big. :D

I recently learned that Ms. George was 40 years old when the first Lynley book was published, and she had a completely different career before she became a success as a writer. This made her even more of an inspiration to me, and there's no doubt I would love to follow in her footsteps.

Thanks again to Christine for this fun Sparkfest, and I'm looking forward to hopping around and reading all the responses! :)


  1. Great post, Julie!

    It's been a lot of fun reading these inspiring posts.

    I do enjoy a good detective novel too. Great name for Danny Fitzpatrick. :)

  2. There are several books that have inspired me. The raw emotion of Ann Frank. The active voice and world building of JK Rowling. The amazing story lines of Stephen King, and the prose of Edgar Allen Poe.

    Great blog hop and post!

  3. Gish, great questions...it's hard to pinpoint an exact moment or book, but I'd say everything from Shakespeare to Winnie the Pooh makes me want to be a writer. There's so much out there to write about:)

  4. you sound like you know exactly what you want to do. that is awesome! great spark story!

  5. Sounds like a great dream, and it's never too late to start. :D

  6. The George books sound good - and so does yours! I definitely want to read them. And who cares when you start and how long it takes? You'll give us quality!
    I'm going to answer this question on my blog tomorrow. :-)

  7. You are never to old to dream and I'm all for dreaming big! Good luck, sounds like you are off to a great start!

  8. if you're going to dream, you might as well dream big.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

  9. Good luck with your big dreams!


  10. Great post, Julie. And absolutely,I couldn't agree more - think big, it's the only way to go with writing, I think. Best of luck!

  11. @Cherie, thanks! And I agree, this blogfest has been a lot of fun. Thanks too about my character name!

    @Ciara, I totally agree with all of your inspirational choices! This really is a great hop, thanks for your comments.

    @Mark, oh, one of the other Spark fest participants wrote about Winnie The Pooh and I couldn't have agreed more, I loved Pooh as a child and still do today. Thanks for your comments!

    @Tara, thank you!

    @LG, I agree, thanks so much.

    @Melissa, oh, I'm looking forward to your post for this question. Thanks so much.

    @LynnMarie, I hope so, thanks!

    @Brianna, thank you for reading and coming by!

    @Yvonne, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

    @Joyce, thank you, best of luck to you as well! :)

    @Jaxbee, thanks! Great to see you here, good luck to you too. :)

  12. Sounds like you have a plan and hum, I will have to check out Ms. George.

    Now dream big! :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  13. Great post! Dream Big!!! Great motto, and great advice! It's great to meet you. :-)

  14. @Jules, thanks, I will try. I just love the George books, hope you like them if you decide to check them out.

    @Tyrean, thanks! So glad to meet you as well, thanks for visiting! :)

  15. Ooo! I can see why you found this inspiring. Sounds really delicious. I'm going to have to add this to my list.

  16. @Mary, I hope you will like the books! :)

  17. Wow, that's really cool! You know, I like when I find authors that didn't hit their stride until their 40s or so... Gives me a loooooootta hope, it does! Good luck with your Danny!

  18. @Crystal, that's exactly how I feel!! And I've been surprised to learn there are a lot more of those authors than I would have guessed. Thanks for the good luck wishes!

  19. Hello, Julie! My mom loves Elizabeth George; she's one of her favorite authors. I've read a few of them and liked them a lot.

    I like the tidbit about Elizabeth completely switching careers to be a full-time writer. Very inspiring!

  20. Sounds like a fscinating journey. I wish you well with your novel :O)

  21. @Laura, hi! Thanks so much for coming by. I agree, I thought that was a great tidbit to learn, gave me hope that I could eventually switch careers too. Thanks again!

    @Madeleine, thank you! And thanks so much for visiting, great to meet you.

  22. I don't usually read in this genre, so it's a lot of fun to hear about them from other authors. That sounds like a fantastic book to compare your own writing with. Thanks for participating and sharing a book you love!

  23. @Christine, this blogfest was great and I felt the same, I enjoyed reading about genres that aren't as familiar to me. Thank you again for hosting!


Thank you for your comments!