Guest Post:Inspiration, Myth or Gift by Final Reckoning Author Chris Bishop @CBishop_author ‏ @RedDoorBooks @lovebooksgroup


Despite Alfred's great victory at Edington, Wessex is far from secure.

With the threat of an imminent Viking attack, Matthew, now a warrior, is sent to fortify and defend the ford at Leatherhead. There, hopelessly outnumbered, he faces his sternest test as he and a small band of barely trained Saxon warriors strive to hold out long enough for help to arrive or resolve to die trying.

In a time ravaged by political uncertainty, Matthew is placed in intense personal danger as he is also ordered to investigate the tyranny of the Ealdorman's stepson and dispense justice as he sees fit.

With his life still threatened by the wound to his chest, what is asked of him seems more than any man should endure as he faces . . . The Final Reckoning

Guest Post: Inspiration - Myth or Gift? 

I think it was P. G. Wodehouse who, when asked about writing, replied that you sit in front of the typewriter and curse a bit! Whilst probably not the most constructive advice, it is possibly more satisfying that staring at a blank sheet of paper hoping for inspiration. 

I’ve heard other writers speak about how they’ve been blessed with the inspiration for a novel like a ‘Gift from the Gods’. Whilst I’m sure that can happen, I’ve never experienced it quite like that. For me, whatever I get in the form of inspiration comes in one of two ways:- 

1. The kernel of an idea which sets my mind on a certain track. 

2. The solution to a plot I’m working on which suddenly presents itself. This often happens with the ending – I seldom know the ending when I start writing (and prefer not to) but one seems to present itself at the right moment. 

These ‘ideas’ tend to arrive at inopportune times – and quite often at night. I then struggle to remember them in the morning or, even if I do, they don’t seem half as good in the cold light of day! Whatever form they take I find that the important thing is not to force them – rather it’s best to let them settle and work them through in my mind. 

I think of it as being like a bird which has spotted a worm. It has to pull its prey out of the ground using as much force as is needed whilst being careful not to break it and thereby lose its supper! 

But where does inspiration come from? I think it’s actually all around us – a chance remark, a picture, someone you meet – they can all provide that essential ‘spark’ but quite often I find that the original idea gets lost as the story develops. This seldom troubles me as, after all, you can never see the spark which started the fire. By way of an example of this, my first novel, Blood and Destiny, started out as a ghost story based on a team of archaeologists who find the grave of a young boy. As I tried to write it the ‘ghost’ of the boy hi-jacked the story – almost as if he was guiding my pen. There’s more about that in a blog on my website ( The Origin of the Series but it was an extraordinary experience. The point is that it took years for me to write that story - and there’s no mention of those original archaeologists in the final draft! 

If you’re struggling for inspiration it might help to remember that it is only a small part of the process. In fact, I was once told that writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration – and that certainly sounds about right for me!

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