Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Real Life Werewolf

People always ask writers where they get their ideas from. For me, most of my ideas initiate from dreams. I am one of those New Age gals who keeps a little dream journal by my bed so I can jot down all my dreams as soon as I wake up. I do this not just for writing purposes but because I am a believer in the symbolism behind our dreams.I believe they are often our subconscious or even the spirit world trying to communicate with us. It was years ago that my muse came to me with the initial seed that would later grow into Morrigan. One night about ten years ago, I had a dream about a man coming through a magic portal and taking me to a fairytale world.  The dream was brief and there wasn't much detail, but it stuck with me for years. I wanted to make it into a book, but it wasn't until I met my husband many years later that the rest of the pieces fell into place.

Meeting my husband ties into dreams as well. When we met, I was messing around on an internet dating site. I know it sounds pathetic, but for a single mom in a small town, there was no other way to meet new people who weren't drunken losers. Well, some of them still turned out to be drunken losers, or married losers, or reverends of the jedi order--but that's another story.  It wasn't something I took seriously. I wasn't looking to find true love or get married. I was just looking to have fun on my nights without kids. I never planned on getting married again. I had walked away from a bad marriage that could have destroyed me emotional and financial, and picked up the pieces and rebuilt a good life for me and my two children.  I had a great job, bought a house, and was the epitome of a strong, independent women. Not that falling in love would make you weak. I just wasn't interested. Then one day I get an email on Yahoo personals from this guy named Timmie. He had no picture. Normally this was a huge red flag. It usually meant one of two things--they were hideously deformed or married. As someone with a love of the Phantom of the Opera, it was more the married part that concerned me. I had been on the other end of a cheating husband and didn't take kindly to being placed in the role of the other women. My normal instinct to those emails was to ignore them. Yet, this time, my instincts told me the opposite and I knew why.  This is where dreams come back into play. The reason I kept reading that email from the imageless man was because his name was Timmie and Timmie was my dream man. Quite literally.

In my novel, Morrigan often muses about the dark knight who had haunted her dreams for as long as she can remember. For me, Timmie had been in my dreams since I was a child. He was even my imaginary friend when I was little. I still had the dreams occasionally, but I had long since given up on any visions of love that might come from them. Then I got this email and I knew I had to reply. The funny thing is, I told this mysterious Tim from the start that I was only replying to him because of my dreams. That would have scared most normal guys away. Of course, my dream man isn't normal. What fun would that be?

In was only a week later that I met Timmie for the first time. He was sitting on a bench in our designated public meeting place, and I knew for sure it was him even before formal introductions were made.   My feelings from that  first glance were exactly the same as Morrigan's the first time she saw Filtiarn. 

Instantly, all her worries and fears vanished. It was as if an angel had miraculously appeared in her moment of turmoil, albeit a scruffy and somewhat rugged looking angel. He was amazing—a walking piece of medieval art. She swore beams of light illuminated him in a strange, unearthly glow. She wasn’t even sure if he was real or just another vision. There were two things she knew with absolute certainty from the first second she saw him. She was recklessly in love with him, and it completely terrified her.

The fact that Morrigan dreamed of Filtiarn is not the only similarity between  Morrigan's love interest and mine. From out first date, Timmie enchanted me with his tales of his cross county travels. He was once a dread-locked hippie who traveled with the Rainbow Gathering, slept under bridges, and even lived in a cave for three months. Now, the average girl would who heard these stories on a first date would probably wish she had a cave to hide in.  Not me. Timmie was refreshing and unique. This was the first date I had since my divorce that didn't leave me rolling my eyes.  A rainbow even appeared in the sky as we walked along the boardwalk, a sign of new beginnings (you might recognize this scene if you've read Phantom).

That look on his face is classic Filtiarn

Of course, I can't fail to mention the physical traits that Filtiarn inherited from Timmie. Just a few weeks into our relationship, he had earned the nickname of Chewy because he is literally covered in hair. He is the reason for the term "five o'clock shadow". I could probably braid the hair of his arms and legs. Even his fingers and toes have hair! As I was working on my character development, this character that Timmie inspired could only be one type of creature. Thus Filtiarn "King of the Wolves" was created--a werewolf. He has Timmie's hairiness, his musical abilities (though I switched it from a saxophone to a panflute), and of course, his witty sarcasm.

 “Humph.” Tiarn grunted and curled his lip. “You call that filthy! You obviously do not know the meaning of the word. That place we just came from—what do you call it? Baltimore? Cement covering the Goddess’ green earth. Wires blocking the view of Father Skye. Pollution making it difficult to breathe, and litter everywhere you look. That was filth. The dust on those blankets is just good old-fashioned dirt. Honest to goodness, deliciously clean dirt! You should revel in it, Princess! The bed where you shall lay your head this night is the cleanest and purest you have rested on in many moons.

So often I have seen people turn up their nose at the idea of "instalove", saying its unrealistic. I can tell you first hand, there's nothing unrealistic about it. But this love at first sight phenomenon isn't as instant as it seems. My relationship with my husband didn't start in this life.  I have had several past life regressions that included him, some of which he was also recalled. So in my mind, "instalove" is really a love between two old souls who have found each other for first time in a new life. This is a love that has spanned through countless lifetimes and that even death could not destroy. Timmie is my soul mate, my inspiration, and the reason Morrigan became my most popular book to date. I love my real life werewolf, in this life and the next!

You can order the Morrigan in both print or ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. To get a little taste of what Morrigan is all about, check out the blurb and excerpt below.

 Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

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