A writer’s inspiration comes from many different sources. It can come from their environment, research, people watching, or in the case of my aHunter4Hire series, travel. The idea for the series came to me about two years before I started to write it. This isn’t unusual for me. I often have stories that I’ve plotted or outlined for many years before I write them. The characters talk to me and I listen. They also let me know when it’s time to write their story.
The Hunters came to me almost completely formed. I had just finished nursing school and my son was turning sixteen, so a cruise was the reward for the family. I keep a journal when I travel, so that I can look back and remember where I’ve been, but the main reason, is to identify my pictures. It was a day at sea, between Venice and Messina, and I had gone to the ship’s library to relax, when they spoke to me for the first time.
They were rebels and aliens. A whole unit of elite soldiers had been marooned on Earth after losing a bitter civil war on their home planet. They were being sent for execution when they had overtaken the ship. When the craft’s guidance system failed, they crash landed on earth.
These aliens came from a technologically advanced society, but found a home and purpose on Earth. Their skills as soldiers and hunters were in huge demand here. Our atmosphere affected their metabolism so that they aged slower, had heightened senses, and quicker reflexes; all of which made them exceptional fighters.
As members of a secret brotherhood, they called themselves aHunter4Hire.
That was a lot of information, but I still didn’t have the complete picture of these alien warriors. It wasn’t until I was visiting my friend in Scotland, and we took a trip to Northumbria, that more of their story came to me. It was at Bamburgh Castle in the Northeast of England.
The castle sits on a large rocky plateau overlooking the ocean. It is a formidable sight, and strategically placed for defense. A structure has existed in that location for at least 12,000 years, with its recorded history starting in around 400 AD. It was the home of the Northumbria Kings in Anglo Saxon times, attacked by the Vikings, and used as a base by William the Conqueror. Through the centuries, it has changed ownership numerous times, until it was bought by Lord Armstrong in the late 1800. Today, it is the private home of the Armstrong family.
There were many splendid rooms, furnishings, and artifacts to see, and along the way, I wandered into the dungeon. The dungeons of Bamburgh had held many high ranking individuals over the centuries, including the Scot’s King, David Bruce. It wasn’t a pleasant place and the thought of what had likely happened here, sent a shiver through me. How could anyone survive the horrors that were inflicted on them here? I expected to have a sense of pain and heaviness in the place.
“There is honor here.”
Those were the words I heard in my head.
I realized that as warriors of old had valued honor, so had my Hunters. Honor was essential to them. It was more precious than their lives and it was their defining characteristic. I understood my alien warriors now, and was ready to start writing their story.
After that, the pieces of their tale came together; from a chance conversation with someone about UFO’s, to a strange disappearance of a fighter aircraft in the 1950’s. Bit by bit, my Hunters told me who they were and how they had found love and dignity on Earth.
The ability to listen for story is essential for a writer. I never know when my characters want to talk, so I’m always prepared to jot down the ideas and words that come to me. Often it makes no sense while I’m writing, but afterwards, when I re-read the words, I get a shiver of awe. I dipped my fingers into the river of creativity and scooped up a nugget of gold.
Cynthia Clement is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author who began writing stories in her teens. She believes in second chances, exploring new ideas, and bringing the impossible to life. Her novels, whether contemporary, historical, or science fiction, all focus on love, honor, and intrigue.
Cynthia spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book. She began writing stories in her teens, but it wasn’t until her forties that she took her writing seriously. She enjoys reading and collecting books, quilting, gardening, ghost hunting, and great conversation. She has a BSc in Biology and a BA in anthropology and recently graduated from nursing. She lives in Canada with her husband of thirty-one years, her teenaged son, and two dachshunds.
Her first book, The Seduction of Sarah, was a finalist in the HOLT Medallion Best First Book Category. Her book, aHunter4Rescue, has placed first in the 2014 International Digital Awards in the Paranormal Category and received third place in the 2014 ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award, Paranormal Romance Category.
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
For the past twenty-two years I’ve lived in northern Ontario, Canada. I’ve spent time living in southern Ontario, eastern Ontario, and northwestern British Columbia. I’ve lived in a Riverboat Captain’s house on the Skeena River, a log house on the Telegraph Trail, farmhouses without central heating, at the end of the road, in the middle of First Nation’s communities, and currently, in tiny bungalow in a small city. Everywhere that I’ve lived in the past has influenced my writing because it has given me experiences and memories that I can draw on when necessary. One of the greatest benefits to a writer living in northern Ontario is the winter months. Long, cold months where the only thing I want to do is stay warm and dry. Writing is the perfect occupation and excuse to remain inside.
Tell us your latest news
Currently I am releasing a new series of books called the Wednesday Wives Club. The books are Women’s Fiction, which is a new genre for me. The series follows the lives of four women who set out on journeys of self-discovery as they try and fulfill their husbands’ fantasies. It’s been exciting to see this project through to the end because these characters started telling me their stories over eight years ago.
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I started writing short stories in my teens. When I was in university, I continued to write, but I only had time to do poems. After graduation, I had every intention of continuing with my writing, but life, work, and family took over. I still dreamed of writing, but I never seemed to have the time. I would start a book and never finish. I was in my late thirties before I decided that I was the only person who could make my dream of writing a reality. I took courses and made writing my focus and finally finished a book. I never sold that book, but I learned a lot. My next book was The Seduction of Sarah and it was published by Kensington.
What books/authors have influenced your life and writing?
I was a voracious reader when I was young. I read anything and everything. I still do and that’s probably why I love so many different genres. My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and Georgette Heyer. I like to think my writing has been influenced by all of the books I’ve read because they were all instrumental in developing my ability to weave a story.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
My characters usually spend a lot of time in my head before I’m ready to write. They tell me their stories at their pace, so that I have to wait to hear everything before I can start writing or outlining. Sometimes the timing for a story isn’t right, so I’ll leave the book as an outline and revisit it later. I have some characters that have been giving me their stories for several years and others that come to me as complete tales and I write them immediately. This is rare. Usually the characters and their stories float around for several years before they make it to paper.
What motivates you to write?
Writing is difficult because you need to be disciplined to finish a book and it’s a solitary craft. If you don’t write, no one knows but you. There are numerous obstacles vying for your attention at all times and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first novel or your tenth, you have to push through these things in order to get to the end. I’ve had periods in my life where other things took priority and the writing was relegated to the back burner. My motivation comes from the desire to finish the stories that my characters have given me.
What is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing is doing the work. There are so many other distractions such as social media, emails, and television that it’s easy to let your writing time slip away. Sitting in your seat and getting the words on the page is the only way you will finish a novel. If you’re lucky, the words will flow effortlessly from your head to the page. Usually, we spend our writing time second guessing our work. Learning to silence our internal editor and focus can be very difficult.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
If I’m writing a historical romance I always learn something new about the time period. For my aHunter4Hire series there has been a lot of research that involves strange anomalies in the world, UFO’s, and genetic engineering. For my Women’s Fiction series I’ve had to research different lifestyles and the rules associated with them. I love research, so none of this seems like work to me. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about writing.
Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes a scene with the characters comes to me. I was at an outdoor music festival several years ago, sitting on the grass and enjoying the music, when two characters came to me with their predicament. They were locked together in a dark priest hole. I had the first scene of a spy novel. For aHunter4Rescue the vision of a space ship crash landing in a remote area sent my mind racing to figure out why, how, and what would you do if you witnessed it. The ideas are always around me, but if I try and force a story to come to me, I have no luck. That’s why I keep myself open to what inspires me and write it down.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive of my writing. In the early days they thought of it as a hobby and even after selling my first book, they still didn’t take it very seriously. Once I changed my attitude and became protective of my writing time, they came on board.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors.
If your dream is to write, then do it. The more you practice your craft, the more confidence you will gain in your ability. This is vital to keeping you motivated on your journey to publication. Don’t let doubt stop you from becoming the writer you were meant to be.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading The Source Field Investigations by David Wilcock. It’s an alternative look at scientific mysteries that have been discovered and experimented with throughout the world.
Please visit Cynthia’s website at www.cynthiaclement.com
Join her newsletter for her latest book releases and news at: http://www.cynthiaclement.com/contact/
Wednesday Wives Club
Alisa (Available Aug 11)
Brenna (Available Sept 10)
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