I've always listened to music while I write. Some books need several different songs that help me invoke the images or emotion I'm trying to create. Thanks to my first fantasy trilogy, I can't listen to Kiss From A Rose by Seal or (Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams without getting teary-eyed. I've got everything from Nickelback to Apocalyptica to country - yes country music! - on my playlists. But only recently have I added movies to my inspiration process.
My next Carina release, Golden, was inspired by the movie Curse of the Golden Flower. I happened to catch a few minutes of the movie at bedtime one night, and I ended up staying up way past midnight (even though I had to work the next day!) in order to watch it. I DVRd it and watched it over and over, at least half a dozen times, and I knew I had to write a story based on Imperial China. Now that the story is contracted, I've watched CotGF at least four times while working on edits. The music, the scenery, everything speaks to me. I get chills while watching it. I even dream about it!
Indirectly, The Bloodgate Guardian was also inspired by a movie: Stargate. I've always loved pyramids, but everybody's done Egyptian stories. What about all those fantastic Mayan pyramids in Central America? Add in blood and human sacrifice with interesting mythologies, and I'm there!
Music and movies might be expected, but I bet you'll be surprised to hear that I was inspired by Mrs. Giggles' Regency Drinking Game for my upcoming Samhain release, Lady Doctor Wyre. I was reading her list and giggling, naturally, and the thought came to me: how ridiculous would some of these be if the heroine and hero exchanged roles? I mean, just think of how much fun I'm going to have with debutant virgin heroes and rake heroines? I can't wait!
Joely Sue Burkhart