Inspired by Real Life (Guest Post by Nancy Reese)
Inspired by Real Life
by Nancy Reese
December 28, 2015I’ve been inventing stories about the people in my mind ever since I was a child. Extremely introverted, with two older siblings, I often was alone in my play time, and this led to my fondness for creating outlandish situations and characters. Who better to save a little girl from boredom or loneliness than a strapping young prince or wizard to spice up the day?
It’s also hard for me to say I only write one genre of fiction. Romance, fantasy, action, my tastes are as varied as my music preferences, which range from normal, everyday radio all the way up to ‘I know, don’t judge me’ status. My interest lies in the story itself, that’s the part I want to investigate and tell to the best of my ability. Life is a series of stories all woven together, just as well-crafted books follow their one or two main storylines each to their conclusion.
Books free us from the tediousness of our everyday lives. Who wants to scrub the shower when you could spend several hours involved in the affairs of handsome men and beautiful women where they never seem to fight over who broke the faucet or whose turn it is to walk the dog. Instead they have adventures, take us to far-away lands, and put us through the emotional roller coaster in three hundred pages or so.
This is why I enjoy being a writer. Inside my head there are stories that have been comforting me, consoling me, helping me sleep or keeping me awake since I was a child. Each creation I write owes at least one of their personality ticks to a character from someone in my real life. There are some people we see every day, and some we may see only once, but the impact they created was so profound I knew I had to build a character around that tic or sentence or bearing or whatever it is they have that speaks to the insane task master inside my head.
My character ‘Vivienne’, the main heroine in my Guardian Stories, is formed around a core of characters from other books. She is the child of a rich and powerful man who finds little personal time to spend with her, despite his professions of love for her. This is similar to a Stephen Donaldson character from his ‘A Man Rides Through’ two book series who, as the child of money and privilege only knows she exists by staring intently at her reflection on the walls. Vivienne in turn only feels alive when she is in pain, because only pain feels real.
Splurge this season and purchase some new books for yourself. Try a new author, or try one of the classics, chances are you will discover a new best friend along the way. Be daring, fierce, flirty, naughty, nice, chic, foreign, Victorian, or whatever turns you on, even if it’s an alien Time Lord. Take a journey into a book. You’ll be glad you did.
While born in the North, I’ve spent most of my young life in Florida and Georgia. Having toyed with writing in my 20s, I waited until the children were out of high school and focused on their careers before turning back to my first profession of choice.
Currently residing in NW Georgia with a husband, three dogs, two cats, and one part-time college student daughter, I spend my free time writing and working with an organization that rescues horses from abuse or kill lot situations and rehabs them for new careers.
In a post-apocalyptic future, the fate of the rebuilding world hangs in the balance. An unknown power seeks the forbidden knowledge needed to unleash total devastation once more upon a fragile Earth. It falls to one woman to safeguard the future of the Five Kingdoms.
Princess of the West, Vivienne has been plagued by nightmare visions of past and future since the moment of her birth. Now, to save all she loves from destruction, she must rise above the crippling self-doubts that have assailed her since childhood to become the prophesied Guardian—because the enemy is moving, and the world will soon plunge into a war of sword and sorcery.
But who is the enemy? And who is a friend? Can Vivienne trust anyone apart from her sworn protector, Devon?
The answers lurk in the past—but should the past be destroyed to protect the future?
The Council of Elders thinks I am insane, unlucky to be born a woman and too young at the age of nineteen for the responsibility as my father’s only heir. Perhaps I am crazy. I did not ask for these dreams, these voices directing my actions. I have been cursed to spend my life reliving the nightmare of my birth. It has haunted my dreams since early childhood. The dreams created within me a deeply ingrained sense of doubt, questions of worth and abilities. Perhaps if the birth had been normal, all the torment and guilt which burned itself into my psyche would have ceased to be the essence of who I am. Instead, I was fated to have this repetitive horror as much a part of my nature as the blood streaming through my veins. My birth was a circus of violence, bloodshed, war and death. Hallmarks that created the basic characteristics of my personality were defined at the time of my voyage into this life.
For most of my life, from childhood through present, my dreams have encompassed a vast array of subjects, some familiar, others not. Sometimes I’ve dreamed of a strange world, where the sky pulsed a sickening shade of reddish-orange and the ground ran slick with blood. Other dreams contained mere shadows of people I did not know, doing things I could not see. Those dreams did not impress my brain enough to record their intimate details into my memories. But the complex details of my most horrific nightmares … those I have remembered with excruciating exactness. Those nightmares have at times driven me to the farthest reaches of my sanity where madness beckoned with welcoming arms, laughing when I gasped for air and tried to recoil from the horror.
In these repetitive, abominable shows, there is no past, no future — only an uneasy sense of existing simply in the “now.”
My worst and therefore most prevalent nightmare always starts at the same place: the laboring of my mother just prior to my birth. In this horror show, I can see the room and the people involved through several different sets of eyes, some at the same time. This gives me some interesting perspectives on everyone and their motivations. Despite the impossibilities involved in the complex process of dreaming, when I am locked within these nightmares, events never seem to be a part of my past. Everything and everyone seems to be moving in the “now,” not the “then.” But the pain and terror and the horror are always mine. I need bear no other person’s baggage — I have enough of my own.