Sunday, April 22, 2012


I’ve spent a lot of time writing lately. Hah, you say. You better have spent a lot of time writing, Soph. Guess what? You’re a writer. It’s your job. So let me rephrase. I’ve spent a lot of time lately being inspired.

It’s one of the most important things about writing. The words that come out of us (at least me) don’t just flow without something to get them going. Inspiration comes in some of the oddest forms. I often see whole scenes in my head from a single song. Sometimes it’s one scene from a movie or TV show. Sometimes it’s the simple act of feeling the sun on my face.
Inspiration is everything to me.

I’ve got two books coming out soon. One is done and edited and just awaiting release and one I just finished on Thursday, barely scraping in on my deadline to get it done because it turned out to be an enormously huge book.

So I thought I would talk about inspiration when it comes to those specific two books.

Siren in Bloom

I always knew I would write Leo’s book, but to be honest, I didn’t know he had a brother until Wolf Meyer showed up in Lost in Bliss.
I certainly hadn’t realized he came from Creede, Colorado and had such close ties to Bliss. It was one of those great things that kind of opened up a whole bunch of possibilities. Now I did know that Shelley McNamara would be his heroine because I made a deal with my BFF. Here’s what happens when your BFF is a NY Times bestselling author. You love her work and she loves yours and you end up swapping heroes. So she chose Leo and Wolf and I chose Shock from her Doomsday Brethren series and thus Shayla Black aka Shelley Bradley became the inspiration for Shelley McNamara. Like my best friend, she’s difficult and bratty and bone deep loyal to the people she loves. She makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes and there’s not a person in the world I would rather have watching my back.

The song that really sparked this book for me is a Gavin DeGraw song called “Not Over You.” It’s poppy and fun and really sums up how Leo feels about the whole situation.

Beauty : A Faery Story

I’ve thought about this book for the last three years. This is the hardest book I’ve written in forever because it’s the end of an era for me. It’s not that I won’t write in the world again, but these characters are going to get their happily ever afters – finally and forever. Meg especially is close to my heart because she’s been the touchstone character for the series. She’s me in another form.

So what’s the inspiration for Faery Story beyond my desperate dream that we all find those happily ever afters? Blame one woman. Florence Welch. My husband brought me her first album just as it was released in England and “Cosmic Love” became the impetus for the first book. “Howl” was Kaja’s song. And her second album Ceremonials formed the core of Beauty. It’s a soundtrack for the book, but especially the song “All This and Heaven, Too.” If you read the book and have a chance to hear the song, queue it up when you reach the epilogue. It plays in my head like a movie. The music swells and the scene plays out and I am transported.
As an artist, I can’t thank the people and places and things that inspire me enough. They form the basis of the world in my head and the art that forms my whole being.
So thanks to those who inspire me. Great and small, written word, sung, or a simple act of kindness. I wouldn’t have a world without you.

Sophie Oak writes erotic romance for Siren Publishing. Sophie will be signing books this weekend in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Her latest, Pure Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado 6), is available now.


SusieJ said...

Thak you, thank you for the eye candy..erm, sorry inspiration!
And thanks for explaining where you find your inspiration...must track down that album.
Hugs xx
p.s. just realised it will be May 4th in 12!!! I'll get my Julian fix.

Sophie said...

That's right, Susie! I'm excited about it. And Florence and the Machine is awesome. I get so much out of her work.

Jilly said...

I love your close friendship with Shelley aka Shayla. And that the two of you are incorporating each other into books makes me smile.

I have always found it interesting to discover what an author listens to for inspiration. And even find myself downloading the music to listen to while reading the book.

Thanks for sharing!