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Daydreaming in Detail:
Finding inspiration in imagery
I am a very visual person.
Even though I am first and foremost a writer, I have an artistic mind’s eye—I literally watch my stories as they unfold inside my head, and write what I see. Sounds a lot like a delusional condition, but, no worries. It’s just how I write.
I always have a notebook on me because I never know when I’ll see something that inspires me. For the same reason, I’m never without my phone (a Nokia with an incredible camera). Anyone looking though my pictures might think they are completely random, what-am-I-missing kinds of shots—but, to me, I see an opportunity for words to sprout.
My characters aren’t flat, 2-d creations. I fantasy cast each my books, using conglomerations of several people to capture the essence of whom I’m writing. I watch and re-watch specific movies because someone or something just resonates with a piece I’m writing. Every detail is important—the sound of their voices, the gestures, the setting…all of it goes into the fabric of my daydreams, my story machine.
Over the last year or so, I have been cultivating my Pinterest pages. Not only is it a scrapbook for every nerdy gem I find (especially for Whovian antics and Cumberbatchery) but also a depository for the images that inspire the tiny details of my stories.
Of particular interest is the page for my current book, Words That Bind. This is a tale of a genie and his social worker—so the settings range from ancient Persia to modern-day Philadelphia. With such a wide scope of settings, you know there is potential for a treasure-trove of imagery…and I started collecting them on Pinterest.
Not only do I have the book’s cover and my publisher’s graphic, I started collecting images of the sights and characters of the story. There are lamps and palaces, tigers and talismans. (My genie doesn’t live in a lamp, exactly, but the imagery of bejeweled ornate treasures definitely feed his characterization. Burns loves shiny things.)
From time to time, I would take a break from writing and just browse pictures, wondering if I’ll find something to add to the story, another glimmering facet on the gemstone. Thanks to other Pinners, I’ll never run out of inspiration, either.
Pinterest isn’t only about my books, either. Countless authors are “pinning” their books, making it a great place to discover not only pictures, but great reads. I have a feeling I’ll be a pinner for life.
What about you? Have you been pulled into the world of Pinterest? If so, share your favorite board with us!
About Words That Bind
Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.
Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.
“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”
“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”
He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.
Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.
He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”
His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”
She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.
About the Author
Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.
Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.
In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.
She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.