Friday, January 18, 2013

An Element of Inspiration

One of these days I'm going to get around to discussing the influences and inspirations behind the creation of Challenger Storm: it's a long post that I've been planning for some time but have never gotten around to writing yet, but it's coming.

In the meantime, I wanted to share something that led to the inspiration behind a couple of characters from the first Challenger Storm novel, The Isle of Blood: J. Gordon Tolliver and his daughter, Katherine.

My Mom used to like going to antique stores when I was a teenager and I used to like going with her sometimes.  She still goes antiquing, but I haven't gone with her in a long time.  On one such antique-shopping expedition, I came across a batch of old photographs.  Old photos fascinate me: I often wonder who are these people?  Where did they live?  What happened during their lives?  I bought a batch of these photos and in among them was this picture (click to enlarge):

I don't know who they were, and the only indicator which might be the year of the photo was the number "42" stamped on the back.  Not sure if that was 1942, batch 42, or the meaning of life (and if you don't get that reference, I don't want to know you).  As soon as I saw the photo, however, I knew somehow, someway, I was going to write a story involving them.

And so they became the inspiration behind White Heron aviation tycoon J Gordon Tolliver and his schoolteacher daughter, Katherine.  Looking back at my fictional world, I like to think this picture of them was taken in the USA after the events on La Isla de Sangre.  The rifts that those events caused in their lives and relationship have hopefully been mended by then.

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