A few years ago, I made a passing comment to a therapist I was seeing at the time. I explained that often, when I drive past my parents home, I run through the exact steps I would take if I saw the building was on fire. The tools I’d make use of, the route I’d help them escape via, where we would seek shelter, et cetera.
She informed me that I was guilty of catastrophizing. This surprised me, because I’m a very upbeat, positive person as a rule. After careful consideration, I decided that I simply couldn’t agree with her. Each time I ran through the house fire scenario in my mind, my emotions rarely featured; instead, it seemed to be an exercise in stone-cold, logical preparation, should the worst happen. I concluded that the thing I was guilty of was an over-active imagination.
I tell you this story because I estimate perhaps one percent of my stories are based on actual events, with the remaining ninety-nine percent relying on my imagination (or catastrophizing, depending on how you view it!) to fill in the gaps. However, that elusive one percent is the initial and most vital part of my story-writing process.
I am often asked where I find the inspiration for my stories and the answer is quite a simple one; from the most common, mundane and unremarkable occurrences that happen in my day to day life. Let me provide you with a few examples.
I was out on an early morning dog walk last October. My Cocker Spaniel bitch was in season, but because it was so early, I was hoping we wouldn’t meet anybody else. Unfortunately, a gorgeous male Cocker Spaniel with a nose on elastic, sniffed her out at fifty paces. My bitch was not impressed and in the end, after a tangle of leads and some warning growls, I lifted her into my arms to help her escape his amorous attentions. His owner was a lovely middle-aged woman who I chatted with for a while. As I was walking away it struck me, what a great first meeting that would make between a couple. By the time I’d returned back home, “Animal Attraction” was roughly plotted in my head.
It was a similar situation with “The Art of Anonymity“. I was out shopping with my two-year old little boy, walking up the high street, minding my own business whilst discussing the pros and cons of Cranky the Crane (in the Thomas the Tank Engine series!). Suddenly, I looked up and had a serious eye-meet with a drop-dead gorgeous bloke. We both smiled but kept walking. However, my mind was suddenly filled with potential scenarios. What would happen if we bumped into each other again in the next shop? How about if his car just happened to be parked next to mine? What would we say? How might things progress? Needless to say, I didn’t see him again but, shortly afterwards, Simon Derby was brought into existence for the extremely lucky Jo to enjoy 🙂
And, of course it is no secret that the entire Daniel Lawson series was written, thanks to a guy I idolised in my teens. He was a few years older than me, studying veterinary medicine at university. Tall, dark, fit, confident, painfully sexy, horse-mad like me…put simply, he was the one. Sigh. We never got together, but that unrequited love has helped me publish a series of four popular books, with a fifth due out in 2020, so I guess I should thank him! What he’d say, if I ever told him he was the real-life Daniel Lawson, I’m not entirely sure!
So, in conclusion, I guess the lesson is to keep an open mind as you go about your daily lives; there is literally no telling when inspiration might strike!
Fenella Ashworth is a British author of contemporary erotic fiction. All of her stories are available from Amazon and free for those with Kindle Unlimited access. Her best known novels are ‘To Love, Honour and Oh Pay’ and the Daniel Lawson series.
Fenella also releases stories on BooksieSilk, Booksie, Lush Stories and Literotica, and is often visible in the Literotica ‘Erotic Couplings’ Hall of Fame (Top Rated).
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