Authors are often asked where we get our story ideas. For me, they come from many different sources; mythology, dreams, or an interesting character or incident.
My series, The Malvers War, had its start while I was watching Syfy Channel’s Face Off TV series. The Season 1 finale challenge was “Twisted Tales” and one of the contestants had to come up with a scene of Little Red Riding Hood meets post-apocalyptic land. The scene blew me away (he didn’t win, darn—but I think I did with this story idea!). He envisioned Little Red Riding Hood as a kickass warrior, dressed in red leather, toting a big gun as she and her female companions fought off a werewolf incursion.
I thought, “Wow, what a cool way to look at the well-known character of Little Red Riding Hood and turn it upside down.”
I love strong female lead characters and believe I can help empower women by writing such women. This “Red” was exactly that. She was no timid little thing needing to be rescued from the big bad wolf by a hunter. She was the hunter.
I kept thinking about this scene and this character, and soon Rizelya, taking the place of Little Red Riding Hood, was born. About the only thing she has in common with the original idea, is that she’s a kickass warrior dressed in red leather. Instead of a big gun, she carries a helbraught; a staff as tall as she is with an 18” curved blade attached to the end made of helstrim. This alloy allows her to feed her fire magic into it to easily penetrate the Malvers monster’s thick hide and withstand its acidic ichor.
Instead of fighting werewolves, she fights a symbiont pair of monsters, a janack and brecha, collectively called Malvers monsters. She and the other Reds (women with fire magic Talent) are joined in the battle for survival by the men, who have traded their ability to do major magic for the gift of shapeshifting. They shift into a warrior form, which is a perfect meld of human and wolf that makes them a match for the monsters.
In my story, instead of it set in a post- apocalyptic earth, Rizelya’s story is set on the world of Lairheim, and to quote the famous lines of Star Wars, “in a galaxy far, far away.” It takes place a thousand years after the Great War, which devastated the land and annihilated the majority of the population. The Posairs were just recovering from the war when the Malvers monsters showed up, threatening their fragile survival, and they’ve been fighting ever since.
There are parallels to that scene I saw long ago on Syfy’s Face Off TV series, but by using my imagination, I’ve created my own unique characters, a fascinating world, and an interesting story.
Creativity can be sparked by just about anything, even a TV reality show. What has ignited your creativity recently and where has it taken you? I’d love to hear from you.
–Tora Moon is the author of The Malvers War Series; Ancient Enemies (book 1) and Ancient Allies (book 2) are now available on Amazon. She is currently working on The Scourge Incursion (book 3) and Exile’s Vengeance (book 4). Redemption, a Malvers War Novel, a prequel story that takes place 20 years before the events in Ancient Enemies is available free. Click here to download your copy.