There are a few things that inspired Snapshots, which is rare for me. Stories usually just pop into my head and the only way to get them out is to write them. Banging my head on the table just gives me a headache. (Kidding!)
What inspired the whole story was, one day, I was in a Twitter chat discussing LGBT characters and the lack of bisexual ones. At the end, I thought, "I'd like to help create more stories with bisexual characters." I forget how long passed, but I was hit with a new idea, and low and behold, the main character was bisexual. Thus Snapshots was born.
Other inspirations include actual people and one fictional person.
Meemaw Cheryl can probably be considered a cliche character. Old, sassy black lady. But she had inspiration behind her: Tyler Perry's Aunt Madea. If you've seen any of his movies with her then you know she is a hoot. But also Aunt Madea is a good person and wants her loved ones to do right. Meemaw Cheryl is the same. Her son runs a gang and she's surrounded by crime and violence, but she sticks by her family, dolling out wisdom, and ready to knock some sense into them if needed.
The other inspirations are noted in my acknowledgements and dedication. My nephew, Emmet, is the inspiration behind Jacob. (Even though Emmet is five years older than Jacob.) Emmet sometimes comes up with the craziest things to say. Like one day, we were deciding if we were going to wait for my little sister to eat dinner. Emmett says, "Let's eat now, all I've had was cupcakes and junk food. I'm junking!" I did my best to channel him while writing Jacob.
Arik, my other nephew, is the other inspiration. He was born with a cleft lip and palate and many other medical issues. He's only three and has had three surgeries already. But damn, if he isn't a happy-go-lucky kid. I remember before his lip surgery, he barely had an upper lip, but he smiled so much! Cyclop is the same. His life hasn't been easy, but each time he started to despair, he finds a reason to hope. He refused to give up. If, when Arik is older, he ever struggles because of how he was born, I want this book to remind him to keep fighting.
Bonus post: Last year, I wrote a guest post at Tui Snider's blog about originality. Check it out. (FYI, some links are probably wrong there now.)
It's said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but that's a lie. They are snapshots of a time yet to come–the future of the person to which they belong.
Cyclop Blaine stands out in a crowd with his pale skin and mismatched eyes, but it’s his ability to see the future that really sets him apart. The unusual gift makes him an invaluable asset to Tyler, his adoptive father and leader of the Victory Street Gang. It also means Cyclop must hide what he can do from others. Once, a man he knew only as Master controlled him, using him for experiments. Cyclop has no desire to return to that life.
But he may have no choice. A man claiming ownership over him haunts his dreams and waking moments, leaving him no choice but to go back to the past he thought he had escaped. Cyclop must face this man, along with his past, if he wants to reveal his own future.
* Marie Landry
* Rainy Kaye
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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