Monday, June 9, 2008


It’s been said that inspiration can come from anywhere, if only you pay attention. I can certainly attest to that.

One Friday afternoon, while driving home from work, I decided to come up with a catchy name for a character. I didn’t have a character in mind; neither did I have a story. I just decided that I wanted a catchy character name—along the lines of Luke Skywalker or Lazarus Long—for a future story.

So there I was, driving along, and I passed a breakfast restaurant called the Sunrise Biscuit Company. I thought, “Hmm, Sunrise might be an interesting surname for a character. But I need an equally interesting given name to go along with it.” Within seconds, I came up with Donatello. I have no idea why. But as soon as I said “Donatello Sunrise,” I knew it was the name I was looking for.

Then I got to thinking about what sort of character would have a name like that. I immediately thought of a private detective. Then I thought “’20s/’30s private dick, gun moll, organized crime.” I decided instead to set the story in the near future, but have him be something of a throwback to the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. I actually started writing dialog in my head, hearing Humphrey Bogart speaking the lines.

In the fifteen minutes it took me to reach home, I had the first few scenes outlined in my head. I wasn’t sure whether it would end up being a short story or something longer, and I didn’t really have a story outline, just a premise: a futuristic private detective, with a neural implant to help him, is investigating a series of kidnappings—but I started writing. By Sunday night, I had two chapters written and was well on my way to finishing my third novel.

The resulting 101,000-word novel is called Sunrise Destiny and I sold it to Red Rose Publishing a few weeks ago. And it all came from one word: Sunrise. How’s that for inspiration?


No comments: