When I write, I picture the characters and their actions in my head, like a movie. So for me, inspiration on what those characters look like or act like often comes from my real world experiences.
Annette was inspired by my best friend in high school. Mary Jo stood by me through thick and thin and we had some amazing experiences together! I know I would not have had so much fun without her along for the ride. I'm too shy to have done many of those things by myself. As the song goes, she was truly the wind beneath my wings.
The man who discovers the band and later becomes their manager is inspired by another best friend of mine from high school. I first met George in a history class. He'd arrive each day with his briefcase which he would open and pull out muscle magazines, peanut butter, fruit and bread. Mary Jo and I thought he was so weird, but we became a trio of buddies.
Mr. Powell the chorus teacher was inspired by my band director, James V. Brooks. This man had a huge influence on our entire school. He was loved by all his students and when he passed away, they all came out to pay tribute to him. Some of us reached the cemetery while others were still leaving the church miles away. He was stern and didn't play, but he earned our respect and love. He taught us and had fun with us.
My English teacher inspired Mrs. Robertson and I even had a teacher named Mr. Keyes, although he taught psychology not calculus. Some of my old classmates might read the story and think they see themselves amongst the pages. I did use some familiar names, but the characters are all their own and nothing like anyone I went to school with.
The members of lightning were all inspired by my idols of the 1980's. Billy Idol, John Taylor and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Brian Setzer of The Stray Cats, and Jon Farriss of INXS.
No matter what we do in life, we can always find inspiration in the world around us. A sunset can inspire us to paint, raindrops on flowers might have us running for a camera, watching a beautiful dancer might make us want to sign up for dance classes and a simple quote could change our lives forever.