Today I’m helping out with the Deadly Burial blog tour which I’m organising for author, Jon Richter. Check out the wonderful guest post by Jon himself and don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for a giveaway!
I’m a writer, so it goes without saying that I love stories. I hope you like mine; my debut thriller, Deadly Burial, is a gripping murder mystery set on a remote and sinister island, with the added twist that the cast of suspects are all professional wrestlers! It’s available now on Amazon to download for your eBook reader. I’ve got a zillion more ideas in me, so watch this space for more quirky and dark tales.
In terms of inspiration, I’ve always found the best way to find ideas is by consuming other people’s stories – in fact I often find it difficult not to immediately want to write something directly inspired by, or in the same genre as, the book I’m currently reading!
And it isn’t just books. A great story can come in any media form: films, TV shows, video games. (My first novel even had its own soundtrack: a mixtape that I made, the idea being that each chapter was inspired by one of the tracks… the first track was Meeting In The Aisle by Radiohead, which might give you some idea what to expect from it…)
I think what I’m searching for whenever I devour a story is that ‘jaw on the floor’ moment. Sometimes it’s just a brilliant bit of writing that strikes a chord with you, like this excerpt from Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which I’m currently reading during my commute: ‘… one may have to live the rest of one’s life in hopeless depths of loneliness and remorse. In that twilight world, one can no longer look forward to anything. All that such a person holds in his hands is the withered corpse of what should have been.’
Other times it can be an absolutely ingenious plot. Anyone who still thinks video games are ‘just for kids’ should immediately get hold of Bioshock and play through that dystopian masterpiece – the script and voice acting are better than most movies, and the story (featuring an absolutely jaw-dropping twist) is one of the most fascinating, disturbing and original pieces of fiction you will ever encounter.
Sometimes it’s just the ‘feel’ of a piece that can stimulate you. Anyone who fondly remembers Twin Peaks (and is eagerly awaiting its return to our screens, just a few days away as I write this!!) will remember the disconcerting dialogue, that sense of ‘wrongness’ that pervaded many of the encounters between Dale Cooper and the denizens of the titular town. This same feeling was successfully captured in the early Silent Hill video games; Silent Hill 2 is probably my favourite thing ever, the Japanese creators weaving a remarkable narrative about one man’s search for his missing wife in a deserted, mist-shrouded town.
This list could go on and on, so I’ll resist the urge to keep rambling on about my favourite things! But in closing, I think my point is perhaps that an open mind is crucial; if you only read books by the same authors, and watch the same type of movies, and sit in front of the same TV programmes every week, then your ideas are sure to stagnate. But if you keep reading/watching/playing new things, then your writing is sure to stay fresh and innovative… and you’ll probably enjoy yourself too!!
Meanwhile… has anyone got any good recommendations?
Links: Amazon UK
Blurb: When DI Chris Sigurdsson is assigned a grisly murder case on remote Salvation Island, he knows that it might be his strangest yet.
A forgotten wrestling star of the 1980s has been poisoned whilst in the ring, and amidst the slippery lies of his dangerous opponents, unravelling the victim’s murky past is almost impossible.
And as a storm threatens to cut Salvation Island off from the mainland, the race is on for Sigurdsson to find the ruthless killer before he strikes again…
About the author: Jon Richter lives in London and spends most of his time hiding in the guise of his sinister alter ego, an accountant called Dave. When he isn’t counting beans, he is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a good story. Jon writes whenever he can and hopes to bring you more disturbing stories in the very near future. If you want to chat to him about this, or about anything at all, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites, or at his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richterwrites2.