I don't tend to get inspired in the traditional sense. My stories don't "Come from the headlines" or anything like that. They just come from my brain. :::POP::: New idea!
I knew I wanted to write something LIGHT and FUN... which was the exact opposite of what I was writing/reading at the time. My first novel is pretty dark (bullying/murder/angst/revenge), and I was reading a lot of darker fantasy and thrillers. No one was ever happy or having a good time. It was all tension and despair. And that gets old after a while.
A lot of my stories start with a title, and the idea for the plot follows—not always, but more than 50% of the time. When SPARKLE PREP came to me, I knew it was the one I'd been looking for, and I immediately wrote the first five chapters. From there, I actually put the book down for over a year as I rewrote my first novel, but I did eventually pick it back up again. And now I have a beautiful 80k word novel-baby.
SPARKLE PREP is my ode to gay boys. I had a few friends who knew I was gay in high school, but I always wondered what it would be like to be unapologetically, unequivocally, fuck-you-I'm-gay GAY. And that's what I decided to write. None of my characters have any angst about their sexuality or gender identity (they encompass most of the LGBT* spectrum... except the L, obviously, because it's an all-boys school). And for the hell of it, I decided to make some of their parents billionaires. But once I did that, it took on this whole other dimension. As I started to look further into each character and the rest of the plot, more personal issues came to light... family dynamics, money issues, relationships with parents/siblings/boyfriends and, most importantly, each other. What I intended to be a GAY GAY GAY story turned into a STORY STORY STORY with characters who happened to be gay. And the latter works much better.
I've come to love these characters and, with any luck, I'll get to live with them for a good long time. SPARKLE PREP is only the beginning.
Check out what inspired my fellow Mentees!