Turning Inspiration into Realization by Rene Folsom
I believe that all fiction is based on some form of reality—otherwise we would never have the inspiration or knowledge to dream up the realistic situations that we portray with our words. I am proud to say that my personal experiences have been inspirational, though perhaps not always identical to that of my fictional characters. Where reality and fantasy diverge, however, must remain my little secret…
Here are some of the behind the scene tales about what inspired me to write the stories you’ve come to enjoy.
There’s quite a bit in this series that is fiction, the relationship being the biggest fictional thing of all. However, the town this book took place in actually exists. While I didn’t actually name the town anywhere in the book, several readers contacted me afterward and were able to recognize it based on the landmarks I described throughout the books. This thrilled me to no end because it proved to me that I did a darn good job with the descriptions of the town and surrounding areas.
Even though Shuttered Affections wasn’t the first book I published, it was the first book I started writing. With that in mind, I wasn’t sure about the legalities of naming cities, schools, and locations within a publication. To keep things simple, I decided it would be best to keep the names completely anonymous. Since I majored in fine arts in college, I decided that would be the perfect setting for Julia.
With my love for photography and pottery, I was immediately inspired to write about a girl in college who falls for her hot, new professor. For those who are curious, no, I’ve never fallen for one of my professors before. LOL That’s where the fantasy begins!
Soul Seers Series
The inspiration for this series started out quite different. Initially, this started as a short story for an anthology, Paranormal Anthology with a Twist. I was so nervous about what people would think about this story. It was the very first story I ever shared with anyone, and my nerves almost didn’t let that happen. I showed it to a few people first, needing some opinions and, honestly, a few pats on the back before I sent it to the anthology coordinator (who is now my editor and friend). As soon as she got her hands on the first story in the series, Voices of the Soul, she immediately told me I couldn’t stop there. She insisted I had to continue writing more—that my characters had much more to say. Five novellas later (six in total if you include Voices), the Soul Seers Series was born.
Roommate Romance Series
One Valentine’s Day, Cynthia Shepp decided to post a challenge on Goodreads, asking people to write flash fiction stories that included five prompts: Valentine’s Day, candy conversation hearts, a love triangle, a black rose, and water balloons. Needless to say, I pumped something out fairly quick. After talking with Cynthia, who is also my editor, I decided to expand on the story and publish it. I was already done with several other short stories by this point, but they were not published yet. So, Heart You became my first published book and was inspired by Cynthia’s challenging prompts. Therefore a whole new series was born through no fault of my own! (Okay, that’s a lie—but I still like to blame it on Cynthia because I can.)
Twisted Wolf Tales Series
The inspirational credit for this series actually goes to another author who approached me with the initial idea for a story about Little Red Riding Hood who falls for a mysterious female wolf after venturing to her granny’s house in the woods. Not wanting to write a female/female story, this author asked me if I’d be interested in taking on the task of telling the story myself. Of course, I ran with it, never looking back! Not only are there currently three books in this series, but there are likely more to come in the very near future.
Playing Games Series
Often times, if I’m passionate about something, it will come out in my writing. It’s come to my attention that too many authors fall back on the safe character build because they have been told time and time again that a dominant, alpha-male is what women want. So, when thinking of the Game Changer plot, I took a step back and thought about the things I like in a man. While my husband might be a sports-loving beast of muscle, I decided to put aside his appearance and think of his other qualities. In steps Liam. Instead of sports, Liam loves games, and I know for a fact there are a lot of female gamers out there who would love to get their hands on a Liam.
You’ll notice that Maci has a lot of opinions about stereotyping and there’s a really good reason for this. I see a lot of gender stereotyping happening in the book industry, especially when it comes to the specific genres. Female SciFi or Horror authors tend to get pushed aside. Male romance authors get the same treatment. Very rarely are they given a chance beyond their gender. Granted, there are a few exceptions, but most of the time, those exceptions are first born because of pen names where the readers are unsure of the author’s specific gender to begin with. After speaking to a male author about a romance idea he had—a very good romance idea—I realized just how discouraged he was to even attempt to write it due to the growing stereotypes with male romance authors this day in age.
Of course, being the hothead that I am, I had to put my opinions down on paper to share with the world somehow. 🙂
Even though many different reasons might inspire my books, they all have one thing in common—passion. Each plot, each character, each word is filled with a drive to share my stories with the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy every single minute of what I do and I can only hope my readers enjoy it as well.
Rene Folsom, author of paranormal romance and erotica, lives in Florida with her husband and three kids. She has officially diagnosed herself with creative ADD and, if it weren’t for her day job as a web programmer, she would have a million and one writing projects going at once. In addition to web design, she is also a graphic artist who loves to create custom book cover designs for indie authors. She is definitely an artist at heart and would love nothing more than to be elbow deep in clay during her waking hours.