Real locations are my favorite to write about. For my first book series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program, Pandora High School had many similarities to the high school I attended. Write what you know, right?
Sometimes, I scour Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the page for my next series (after)life lessons.
Every once in awhile, I type a chapter, read it back, and realize I’ve taken another book’s setting! My editor pointed this out when she read the chapter about Vita Post Mortem Academy’s cafeteria called The Dreadfort. It had an eerie similarity to Hogwart’s Great Hall.
To avoid accidental plagiarizing, I made the tables round instead of long, removed all candles from the chandeliers and replaced them with electricity, set up a high-tech video screen, and made large windows in the back for viewing the cemetery. Ok, still sounds similar, but you can’t mess with perfection!
Embarrassingly enough, I watched the entire Bring It On: All Or Nothing movie yesterday. After all of Hayden Panettiere’s awful krumping skills and Solange Knowles “not-as-good-as-my-sister’s” dance combinations, I thought of another topic for my blog. Hurray for the things that inspire me!
Throughout the movie, Hayden “Planetarium” (as my dad likes to call her) is trying to figure out which one of girls posing as her friend truly has her best interest in mind and who is going to stab her in the back. Alas, we come to the term ‘frenemy.’ There are definitely better examples in fantasy fiction than the cheer template, so let’s move on.
One of my favorites is Katniss Everdeen and Johanna Mason in the Hunger Games series. Having won the games just a few years before Katniss, the two are close in age and viewed as immediate rivals. Their relationship is never smooth, but as time goes on it becomes more apparent they have the same goals and values. A mutual agreement is made when Katniss brings Johanna pine needles to remind her of home in District 7.
Another great example is Remus Lupin and Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. Part of different crowds in school, Remus in Gryffindor and Snape in Slytherin, their youth was spent bullying and competing. However, the tragic years (and Dumbledore) made them respect each other, as evidenced by Snape’s production of the wolfsbane potion to ease Remus’s symptoms during the full moon.
My favorite example is a little less famous; Olivia Hart and Chelsea Steinem from the Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program series. Since the day Chelsea started dating Olivia’s ex-boyfriend, she shouted snide comments, gave evil looks, and overall made Olivia’s life a living hell. When a villain comes knocking at their door, they put their differences aside, and recognize how much they have in common.
This post is dedicated to my original frenemy, Sarah Moeller. We wasted a year hating each other, only to realize we had more to gain from being friends, than enemies. In fact, she is one of my favorite people on the planet. Her passion and selflessness inspires me, and her love sustains and comforts me. With over a decade of friendship, we’ve more than made up for that year, and I know we will continue to be best friends for the rest of our lives.
As research for my upcoming book and new series, I have been doing some homework on two people with very different personalities, who have left a big impression during the last century. While they worked in dissimilar fields, both brought an unconventional view during their time and were brave enough to share it.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” –Albert Einstein
I was originally drawn to this quote because Albert Einstein will be a spirit in my next series, teaching math and science to high school students in a school run by ghosts. All that aside, I believe having the confidence to stand up to those who don’t believe in you is a superpower. Of course, that is easier done when you are considered a genius.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous that absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe
The second person who will appear as a spirit in my series, teaching Psyche of the Spirit in a Physical Body is Marilyn Monroe. I consider standing out from the crowd a superpower, and one that Marilyn portrayed so well.
I can’t write a post on confidence without discussing Chelsea Steinem from my young adult, fantasy series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program. In the series, her “Gift” or special ability was invisibility. She explains how, just like her sarcasm and wit, her ability to disappear is like a shield, insulating her from other’s hurtful opinions.