As a fantasy writer, I’m constantly asked where do I get my ideas. I think it first began when I was a kid growing up in the mountains of Montana. I didn’t see the world around me with ordinary eyes. Instead, I saw the world with my imagination. Everything around me was magical, from the creek that ran behind our house, to the forests I would hike with my family, to those snowy days when the snowdrifts would be as tall as I was. I was an explorer wherever I went, constantly making up stories about the world around me.
I’ve grown older, but I haven’t changed much. Instead of keeping the stories in my head, I now convey what I see into the stories I write. When most people see a sunset, I see a painting of God every evening. The stars are diamonds in the sky. A thunderstorm is God’s power on display.
Even little things like the weaving of a spiderweb and a bird building her nest amaze me. Or the scent of fall as the leaves crunch beneath my boots. Or the stillness of a winter’s night. The sweet scent of a baby, or the tender purrs from my cat.
When I write, I want to convey the wonder I have of the world around me, and of the God who made it. And that doesn’t just stop at the physical world. Sometimes I ask questions in my stories: Are we monsters? Can anyone be redeemed? What does God’s grace really look like? What if I could walk in dreams? Who are we? And what does it mean to follow God?
I place my characters in situations that could not exist in this world in order to explain the real questions we ask as human beings. And I use the beauty of the real world to convey a fantasy world full of wonder.
Where do I find the inspiration for my stories? It is the fantastical I see every day around me.
How about you? What ‘ordinary’ things do you see as amazing? How does it bring you closer to God, and if you are a writer, how does it influence your writing?