Writer. Thinker. Strategist. Creative Tight Rope Walker.

Inspiration and Novel Writing by Julie Linstrom

One surprisingly cool summer morning last August I was on YouTube. I love to search this website and find songs I love or maybe songs from my favorite artists I haven’t heard in a long time. After clicking around for about ten minutes, I ended up landing on a demo song from Stevie Nicks. Now, Stevie has always been one of my favorite lyrists and singers. Her words are strong and powerful and always mystical. I love her. So, when I saw this demo for a song entitled, “Mistaken Love,” I sat back and listened. To be frank, I was feeling a little bit guilty about listening to her song. I know demos on YouTube are bootleg, and Stevie has spoken out about her demos being on YouTube, but I couldn’t resist.

So, I sat quietly at my desk and listened to her song. I was transfixed. Her words were so haunting, so beautiful, so mesmerizing. When the song ended, I played it again. I ended up listening to “Mistaken Love” four times straight through. Each time, the song pulled me in closer, but having other tasks to tend to, I shut my computer off and went about my day. But, I couldn’t get the lyrics out of my head. Over the course of the next two days, characters, based on her words, began forming in my mind. Haunted, I went to my keyboard and began writing. My novel, FORSAKEN, was born.
It is amazing where we can find inspiration: by the colors of nature, in a stranger’s smile, or in the words to a song. Stevie Nicks’ words inspired me. Each time her words danced in my head, my characters became stronger.

This led me to a greater inspiration—one that would take me on a new journey in life. Late at night after my own work was done and my family was in bed, I slowly began composing my novel and I didn’t stop for four months until FORSAKEN was complete. Now, at this point, I figured I would package my manuscript and ship it off to the nearest publisher. No. I quickly learned it does not work that way. So, armed with my Google search engine and AgentQuery, I began researching the query process and ways to find an agent who represented my genre. Let me tell you it can be intimidating. There is so much information and differing opinions about the best way to write a query letter to attract an agent. In the end, you just have to write what you feel is the best. With my query letter complete, I began sending them out. Based on my query, I have received two requests for my manuscript, FORSAKEN. I anxiously await their response.

In the meantime, I will continue polishing my novel and am already working on my next. I continue to find inspiration in my surroundings. However, what I always remember the most is that it is important to keep writing every day and to never stop.

Leave a Reply