Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Inspires Me? You'd Be Surprised.

As a writer I am often asked how I get the ideas for my plots. I think most writers will agree that inspiration can come from anywhere. And I do mean anywhere
For instance there is my second book, The Island of Living Trees. What? Is that plug you may ask? Of course it is that’s what blogs are for, shameless self-promotion. Anyway, the inspiration of this book is kind of humorous, at least to me.
To this day my sister dearly loves cheesy horror films. I mean the really bad ones from the 50's. You know, where you can see the zipper in the monster’s costume. It all started when we were kids where one of our favorite shows on KTTV (Channel 11) matinee horror program (a term used very loosely here) called “Chiller”. There were a lot “so bad they were good” types, but there was one (of many) that was “so bad you have got to be kidding”.
But they weren’t.
The movie is called “From Hell It Came”. Now in case you think this would bother anyone’s Christian values, trust me it’s too silly for that. I have a very low tolerance for the scary factor and it couldn’t even scare me. Not even when I was a kid and everything scared me.
So how bad is this movie? This is the plot in brief (believe me you want it to be brief). The son of an island chief is wrongfully executed for murdering his father. The execution, which is supposed to set up the terror which is to come, is a very strange scene where he is defending himself while tied up to stakes in the ground while chickens aimlessly roam around. Not mutant, murderous chickens just...chickens. You've got to wonder who thought that would strike terror into anyone’s heart. Anyway, the chief was actually done in by the guy who took over his job and the island witch doctor, but no one suspects them even though they gained by the murder. Obviously these writers were not fans of good mystery fiction, no one even thinks to consider the obvious suspects?  Bad plot construction. Okay, long story short, please, the wronged man is then reincarnated to exact his terrible revenge.
As a tree.
I’m not kidding. A really bad rubber suit type tree.
The chickens were more terrifying.
The rest of the plot isn't that bad, it’s much, much worse, so I'll stop there.
Now my book has little to do with this movie, really I promise, but it is where the inspiration came from. So are all my plots based on bad horror movie plots? Of course not. My point is that inspiration can be just downright weird sometimes. So you’ve got to pay attention.

Mystery writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Mystery Series. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories with just a bit of whopper in them. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. She loves to embroider and knit and is a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Current E-Books
THE REBOOT FILES:  The Mystery of Hurtleberry House, The Island of Living Trees, The Harbinger of Retribution, and The Wrong Ghost.


  1. Very interesting post Cindy! Who knows where our inspiration will come from.

    Debbie Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"

  2. I see a story in any situation. But your trees take the cake! My husband and I love horror movies and the one I most vividly remember was "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Didn't win any Oscars though.

    ~Nancy Jill Thames
    Author of the Jillian Bradley Mysteries
    "Queen of Afternoon Tea" Celebrity Author Interview


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