Have you ever been inspired by mundane things?
Well this is a question I didn’t expect I was chatting to a few of my friends the other day.
I often get asked about inspiration in general but I certainly can’t remember ever being asked if I get inspired by anything mundane. However not to be outdone I did actually think of something and the answer I gave back was of all things; a garden gate!
Anyhow this answer was received with a bit of a disbelieving laugh from my friends. However in a way it’s true but I must admit it wasn’t just an ordinary gate, it was a rather nice wrought iron gate, but it did open up into a rather nice garden.
Ok, so I’ll tell you a bit about this gate and how it made me think about things. At the time I first saw it I was immediately intrigued by a rather large symbol on the front. Hopefully you can all see the attached photo and see what I mean by this. Now I will admit I did have an advantage and I did have an idea what this symbol meant as I had seen it many times before. It’s the emblem of the Western Buddhist Order.
However, it was when I looked at this gate I started to look a little behind the meaning of the symbol and what the shapes and icons mean.
By the way I should point out I was reading Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code at the time. For those who have read this book will know that Professor Langdon’s job was lecturing symbology. I’m sure you all know this means looking into the meaning behind symbols and what they stand for. So it was probably the influence of this book that made me look a little harder into the meaning of this symbol sitting proud on the garden gate.
Now at this time I was plotting my first novel, The Burden of Truth. At the time I needed a certain something in place to make the story work just that little better than what I had already in place. I needed something just that little bit extra; something not too out of the ordinary but still interesting to round the story off. Happy to say I did have a few ideas but somewhere in the back of my head I was still not quite sure about them and how they would work out.
Oh yes, another thing I should mention is that when I first saw this gate I was with a Buddhist Order member at the time so I was extremely lucky to have her explain to me all the intricacies of the symbol. She was great and it was when she was explaining all of this I came up with an idea!
Now this is where I have a problem because I would love to carry on and explain what and how this idea manifested into my novel.
The problem is; if I do then that would blow the hole story and spoil the ending for those who haven’t read it yet.. So really I do have to be careful here and not say much more about this so called flash of inspiration. Well at least for now because it really would spoil the twist. But what I will say there is something else apart from the symbol in the middle caught my eye.
If you all look down towards the bottom of the gate you will see some shapes painted gold.
I can tell you these are vajras; again a part Buddhist symbology. In the second book of The Sandler trilogy a certain vajra goes missing. The idea for this plot-line also came from this gate.
So there you have it. Have I ever been influenced by something mundane? A garden gate!
BLOG POST. WHAT A GREAT QUESTION!
If I were to read The Burden of Truth what would it give to me?
Well another good question; actually a great question!
Really the first thing I should say about this question is that it is very difficult for me to answer! The reason being; we all know that every person who reads has their own personal preference when it comes to picking a book. Each and every reader has different likes and dislikes and not just genre. Some readers love getting to grips with a good plot whilst others fall in love with certain characters. The point is; all readers look for, and get different things out of a a book. Any book, not just this one.
So! If I can’t answer what a reader will get of of this book, the best I can do is re-phrase the question to… What can I hope, The Burden of Truth will give to a reader.
First thing I would hope for, of course would be that the reader would receive many hours of entertainment and enjoy the book. Now I’m not trying to be boastful but I have been told by others that my novel is… ‘Well paced with interesting characters. I have also been told it has an interesting plot with more than its fair share of twists and turns, dramatic and full of suspense.’ As I said this is what has been said to me in the past.
The thing is, I know, just as well as you all do, just about every author in the world would say something positive about their novels. However, the question has been asked so I feel compelled to answer it. So, what do I hope readers will get from The Burden of Truth? Answer; enjoyable entertainment!
However, that's not all; not by a long chalk!
When I first set out to write The Burden of Truth I wanted more than just a story. I wanted more than readers to read it and say, 'Hey, good book, interesting plot.' Then leave it at that.
What I wanted was the reader to think about this book for a long time after reading it. I wanted this novel to get under their skin so much they think about its contents for a long time afterwards. That is why there is nothing that pleases me more when other readers go just that little deeper and tell me other aspects to the story that they loved.
So to answer the question further; what else do I hope will the reader get out of my novel? Well, really it depends on how far the reader wants to delve into the book. If the reader wants to delve a little deeper and finds and understands the message of the story then obviously I hope the reader may get a bit more out of it. Let me explain.
There are many messages within the book, that is plain to see when you start getting into the nitty gritty of it. However, some are hidden between the lines. Ok, I admit there’re not very well hidden as really I don’t want the reader to work that hard. I’d rather have the reader enjoying the book instead of working through the book trying to analyse every page looking for a remote message. I know others authors think differently and will disagree with this. However, this is the way it think it should be; certainly for this novel anyway.
Now then, if the reader does wish to delve into the book and discover the hidden messages and understands them and to a certain degree acts on them; possibly he or she may well gain something just that little extra out of the story. It could be that this little extra may be that the reader may just get that little more out of life itself! Perhaps; perhaps not only time will tell on this one.
To explain this a little further, I’ll tell you a little about the book. Hopefully, I don't think I will spoil the plot so much if I tell you one of the characters gets into a bit of trouble right at the start of the book. Later when things have died down a bit he decides to look at his life and with this new outlook he starts trying to live his life to the full. As the story moves on, hopefully you will be dragged into his thoughts and actions towards his quest. He learns many lessons of life from others he meets on his way. Some wise, others not so. So perhaps this is the answer to the question! What do I hope readers will gain from reading The Burden of Truth? A few lessons about life!
Best leave it at that for now, take care all LLL.
BLOG POST : INSPIRATION FROM THE MUNDANE.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT!
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In the beginning of the sixties, Peter Best, was born in the old fishing town of North Shields, situated in the industrious North East of England.
Albeit the son of a shipyard worker, Peter was brought up in a small mining community until the age of eight. When for some reason or another, somebody made the decision to close the pit, uproot this community, and move everyone to a place called Cramlington New Town, on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne. By the way, if this sounds terrible, it wasn't. Peter loved it there.
After his time in school he served an apprenticeship working mainly on building sites as an electrician, which he hated by the way! However, as Peter always looked on the positive side of things, he was pleased he did. It was on these building sites, where he came across many different characters, who he was pleased to call his friends. "Real people," he called them. And so it turned out, many of these so called real people, and others of course, featured quite strongly in his novels.
Of course, it wasn't just the people he met on the sites. Peter, over the years came across many different characters on his travels. Some, had even played their part in working their way into his mind, to help shape him into what he is today.
In 1996 he married for the second time to a young German girl. Soon after he moved with his young bride, to the south of England for a short while. Then after that, the two of them upped sticks again, and moved to Wiesbaden in Germany, as Peter wanted to help support his wife as she pushed at her career as a doctor.
Peter fell in love with the culture of his new surroundings, especially the culture of one of his neighbouring counties Bavaria. However, as they say all good things come to an end and they both moved back to England.
It was at this time when his writing started to come together. Over the next few years Peter started to string together his thoughts and ideas of, The Burden of Truth, and its sequel. (The name remains a secret for now.)
He now lives with his wife and daughter, in a small seaside town in Essex called Frinton on Sea. Frinton, along with its neighbouring town, Walton on the Naze, both feature in his novel, The Burden of Truth.