As you know, one of the questions readers ask authors most frequently is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
It does seem like a mystery sometimes, doesn’t it? Can I tell you a secret?
Sometimes, it’s as much of a mystery to authors as it is to readers.
But for my fantasy romance novel, In the Land of the Vultures, it’s no mystery, as least as regards the inspiration for the story. It was a dream.
If you don’t know, I have been an active dreamer from the time I was a child, remembering and paying attention to my dreams, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on my age and what was going on in my life.
In my 30s, I began reading about dreams, how to remember and record them, how to work with them in different ways. Then, I studied with Robert Moss who was evolving a technique for working with dreams that combined shamanism and dreamwork that he called Active Dreaming.
I discovered that the more I worked with dreams, the more active my dream life became.
One night, I dreamed…
I am a woman living in a primitive time and a place that is suffering a water shortage. People are leaving the area. I pick up a young girl child of six or seven and together we mount a horse and begin walking down what appears to a be a dry riverbed. As we approach a bend in path, there are trees still with leaves on them and we look up to see vultures sitting on many of the branches. They appear to scold us but we are not frightened or worried by them even as we pass a point on the right where vultures are picking at the carcass of a dead horse. It is the way of things.
When I woke, I was stunned by how vivid the dream was and how far removed from my own life. For me, I had been given a story. Questions tumbled in my brain. Who was the woman? Why wasn’t she disturbed by the vultures? Where were they going? What would happen to them? And more.
Soon, I had the answer to at least the first question. The woman was Samara, priestess to the goddess of death. And the vultures were sacred to her.
And so I followed where the story threads led.
And now you know where at least one of my story ideas came from.