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Guest Blogger: N. J. Walters
Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Ideas…Where Do They Come From?

I think most authors will tell you that one of the most frequently asked questions they get is: Where do your ideas come from?

The answer may vary slightly from author to author, but most writers I know will tell you their ideas come from everywhere! A spark of a plot may come from an overheard snippet of conversation or a television show. Inspiration may strike when reading a magazine, listening to the radio or viewing a movie. A brilliant concept could appear in a dream or the muse may smack you in the face with your latest book idea from out of nowhere.

Now you may be saying to yourself, everyone watches television, reads magazines and has interesting dreams. And that’s true. But what makes the writer different from everyone else is that they delve deeper and start asking questions. I like to call them the “what if” questions. What would a character do if she found herself in certain situation? What happens next?

Authors will also take seemingly unrelated ideas and connect them. That’s what happened to me with my latest Samhain Publishing release—Night of the Tiger. I was on one of my Yahoo groups a few years back and someone had posted one of those blog quizzes. You know the ones. You click a few buttons to answer some questions and they tell you which color most represents you, which cookie you are like, or which zoo animal you might be (if you were indeed an animal). On this particular day, the quiz was about carnival rides. I filled out the questionnaire and discovered if I was a carnival ride I would be a carousel. No surprise there. I’m not one for roller coasters or other death-defying rides. A slow, gentle carousel suits me just fine.

But I kept thinking about the carousel and wondered what one might look like if the animals were more exotic, maybe even mythical, rather than your run-of-the-mill horses. Then I started asking the “what if” questions. What if the animals on the rides were really trapped there by an ancient curse. What if they were really immortal shapeshifting warriors. Why were they there? How would they escape? What dangers would surround them? Throw in an ancient feud between a god and goddess and I had the seeds for not just one book, but a new series.

These thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone and I outlined a four-book series I entitled Hades’ Carnival. Night of the Tiger is the first book and introduces you to Roric, immortal warrior and tiger, and the very mortal woman who helps break his curse.


To win the battle for his soul, he may have to sacrifice the woman who set him free.

Hades’ Carnival, Book 1

Aimee Horner lives and breathes her career as a graphic novel illustrator, but she never expected it would invade her dreams. In recent months, worsening nightmares have pulled her into the darkest corners of Hell.

On a rare night out with friends at a traveling carnival, she finds herself strangely drawn to an abandoned carousel adorned with vividly exotic animals. One steed, a massive white tiger, is a temptation she can’t resist. The moment she climbs upon him, her world changes forever.

More than five thousand years ago, Roric and his fellow shapeshifting warriors were imprisoned in their animal forms, a last-ditch effort by the goddess they served to save them from the horrors of Hell.

With one special woman’s touch, he has a chance at freedom and redemption—but the clock is ticking. If he is still alive in twenty-four hours, the spell will be broken, and Hell will have no claim on his soul. The only hitch is his blazing attraction to Aimee. If only he could trust that she isn’t merely a distraction sent by Hades—luscious bait to lure him from his mission.

So you see, writers find their inspiration everywhere, which is why there are a never-ending supply of stories to tell. So when they tell you the ideas for their books come from everywhere, they’re telling you the absolute truth.

* * * * *

N.J. has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

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21 comments to “Guest Blogger: N. J. Walters”

  1. Toni Whitmire
    · January 20th, 2013 at 10:12 am · Link

    From what I read this is going to be a great story and I can’t wait to read the reast of the

  2. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 10:59 am · Link

    Thanks, Toni. I appreciate you stopping by to check it out.

  3. Alison Chaffin Higson
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:04 am · Link

    Totally love the cover and can’t wait to read it.

  4. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:29 am · Link

    Thanks, Alison. The cover is really different from anything I’ve ever had before. I think it really stands out.

  5. Deb Carter
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:36 am · Link

    Looks Like I have more books I will have to put on my must read list and another author to add to search for more books. I never knew how to explain to people where i got my ideas because I told them they just came to me in the forms you talked about. Then I just say the story just took over and I could it start playing in my head like a movie. Each time it played there might be changes made like a screen writer would make.

  6. Belinda Baker
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:39 am · Link

    8) I ordered the book.

  7. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:50 am · Link

    I think it is hard for writer’s to explain where their ideas come from, Deb, because they’re usually a combination of a bunch of things.

  8. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:50 am · Link

    Thank you so much, Belinda. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  9. anny cook
    · January 20th, 2013 at 12:25 pm · Link

    Great idea! Looking forward to reading this series…

  10. Melissa Porter
    · January 20th, 2013 at 1:08 pm · Link

    Looks like I will be adding a new author to my list.
    Going to check the book more.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 1:43 pm · Link

    Thanks, Anny. It’s a different kind of series for me, but I had such a blast writing it.

  12. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 1:44 pm · Link

    Thanks for putting me on your list of authors to check out, Melissa. 🙂

  13. laura
    · January 20th, 2013 at 2:51 pm · Link

    Love the excerpt and cover.

  14. N.J. Walters
    · January 20th, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Thanks, Laura. 🙂

  15. Z
    · January 20th, 2013 at 5:16 pm · Link

    I’m on some of the same groups with NJ, and it’s fun doing those little blog questions. I didn’t do that one though. Hello NJ

  16. ronnie cornett
    · January 20th, 2013 at 5:36 pm · Link

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention…I have almost all of NJ Walters books and love them…looking forward to reading this one! ❗

  17. Kat Holmes
    · January 20th, 2013 at 8:14 pm · Link

    Yeah its amazing where we get our ideas from. :mrgreen: Great posting N.J.

  18. Amber H.
    · January 20th, 2013 at 9:54 pm · Link

    Added to my wishlist! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks!

  19. sharon chalk
    · January 20th, 2013 at 11:10 pm · Link

    wow,that sounded so good and interesting that I ordered your newsletter and put in your blogspot,website and facebook and I haven’t even read a book yet lol but it sounds like it is right up my alley,here to good reading!!!!

  20. N.J. Walters
    · January 21st, 2013 at 1:01 pm · Link

    Hey, Z. It is fun to do those blog quizzes.

    Thank you so much, Ronne. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed it, Kat. It’s amazing where some ideas come from. 🙂

    Thanks, Amber!

    Wow, thanks for signing up for my newsletter and checking out my other links. I appreciate it, Sharon.

  21. ELF
    · January 22nd, 2013 at 2:34 pm · Link

    Looks like a fun series, I look forward to reading the stories. Good luck with the new release and thank you for sharing.

Comments are closed.