I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I get my ideas. Ever since I was little I loved superstition and ghost stories and magic, just like most people. I remember getting a book of superstitions from the library when I was in first grade and thinking about them as I walked to school. They were things like: “If you see the full moon through the trees it is considered bad luck”, or “if you walk through a spot of cold air, you have just walked through a ghost”, or about Will-O-Wisps who drew people off the safe path as they walked home late at night and spirited them away. And the villagers never saw them again. Just the creep factor – you know, that bit in a story that gives you a little tingling feeling? – I love it. Whatever gives me that creepy sensation, I try and write it down and use that at some point. If I can capture it in the story, that’s what I’m trying for and I hope I make my readers feel it, too. I love reading a book that makes me experience something vibrantly – whether it’s making me tense, or joyful, or vengeful, or I laugh out loud…or especially when I when fall in love with one of the characters and wish I could be with them in real life. When I’m inside of a book I’m reading, I’m living it with them.
I also see stories in music; the feeling a particular song gives me might start a story there. For example, my niece gave me a CD by “Evanescence” – their “Fallen” album – and while listening to it I started to see Olivia (a character in The Witches Trilogy: Chimera) and her problems, and how she was feeling about being hounded and isolated by her nemesis, Dantin. Interestingly enough, Olivia’s decision on how to handle Dantin came off a “Transformers” album. Very different than Evanescence’s genre. A lot of times I’ll push myself into a wide variety of music, because it helps me to feel different scenarios and push me create different story lines I might not have thought of without that input. Although I listen to almost anything, I especially love harpsichord concertos from the Baroque era, and rock. Some of my favorite bands are Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Godhead, Nickelback, Rammstein, AC/DC, a little Alice Cooper, Evanescence. I also love big band – Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, the Andrews Sisters.
A lot of times, story lines and character creation just comes from necessity. For example, the Will-O-Wisps from “The Witches Trilogy: Chimera” have a LOT of fans – they’re glowing, fiery female forms who are formidable guardians for a witch. So are the Chimera (pronounced guy-mere-uh) who can be a witch’s familiar. They live in the magical realm and can protect or guide a witch in the magical world. Since a witch touches both worlds, it just made more sense for a familiar to be a creature from the realm of magic. They can be good, or they can be really evil; some can even possess and control the witches.Whether I need magical guides, or guardians, or whatever else the story creates a requirement for, those are my favorite bits: when I have to solve a puzzle in the story line and come up with something interesting to solve it. It has to make sense and not cheat the reader with an easy fix. I have to be really creative yet make it fit into all the other pieces so it’s believable.
The first book, out right now, is “The Witches Trilogy: Chimera“. The main character is a witch named Olivia Phalen. She’s a light witch – they can only do good with their powers but in return they can have almost anything; live lavishly, travel, be famous…anything. Olivia’s got friends that she loves and a new apprentice named Taylor. But Olivia also has an enemy – a powerful dark witch named Dantin who loves tormenting her because she rejected him. It infuriates him that he can’t have her, so he methodically destroys whatever she loves just to punish her. But Olivia and her friends can’t just gang up on Dantin and take him out because they’re light witches and can only do good. If they hurt or harm, then they’ll turn dark like Dantin. It takes every bit of trickery Olivia can dredge up to get everyone out of this alive. But she doesn’t succeed and that makes matters worse.
THANK YOU to everyone who loves to read and to everyone who has stopped by my website and fb, or bought my book. I love writing about our witches and am busy writing the second volume in The Witches Trilogy, titled Blue/Black and set in Austria, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Seattle. It’s scheduled for release in December 2014.
You can find The Witches Trilogy: Chimera on Amazon.com, and you can find me on Twitter @Cathleen_Dunn, and my website, Cathleen Dunn.com and like me on Cathleen Dunn’s Facebook Author page. Feel free to drop me a note or a comment – I’d love to hear from you!