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Sunday, February 15, 2009


It’s been said that inspiration can come from anywhere, if only you pay attention. I can certainly attest to that. You can't plan for it, you can't force it. It comes when it comes. You just have to take advantage when it happens.

One Friday afternoon, while driving home from work, I decided to come up with a catchy name for a character. I didn’t have a character in mind; neither did I have a story. I merely decided that I wanted a catchy character name—along the lines of Luke Skywalker or Indiana Jones—for a future story.

So there I was, driving along, and I passed a breakfast restaurant called the Sunrise Biscuit Company. I thought, “Hmm, Sunrise might be an interesting surname for a character. But I need an equally interesting given name to go along with it.” Within seconds, I came up with Donatello. I have no idea why. But as soon as I said “Donatello Sunrise,” I knew it was the name I was looking for.

Then I got to thinking about what sort of character would have a name like that. I immediately thought of a private detective. Then I thought “’30s/’40s private dick, gun moll, organized crime.” I decided instead to set the story in the near future, but have him be something of a throwback to the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. I actually started writing dialog in my head, hearing Humphrey Bogart speaking the lines.

In the fifteen minutes it took me to reach home, I had the first few scenes outlined in my head. I wasn’t sure whether it would end up being a short story or something longer, and I didn’t really have a story outline, just a premise: a futuristic private detective, with a neural implant to help him, is investigating a series of kidnappings—but I started writing. By Sunday night, I had two chapters written and was well on my way to finishing my third novel.

The resulting 101,000-word novel is called Sunrise Destiny. It'll be available shortly on Amazon.com. And it all came from one word: Sunrise. How’s that for inspiration?


Web: http://markterencechapman.com; Blog: http://tesserene.blogspot.com


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