[inspired by…] – esmeralda

Before I begin, I’d like to make it clear once and for all that Esmeralda has NOTHING to do with gypsies.  I promise.  It’s the truth.  Gypsies are awesome and all, and yes I’ve written a dozen cliched and possibly thrilling stories about heroines who join gypsy troupes, but this is not one of those.  Just putting that out there.  (This is a hint to all those lovely people who ask me to please stop.)

Now, to business.  A brilliant friend of mine once shared via her blog some of her personal strategies, quirks, pet peeves, and idiosyncrasies (than Heaven for spell check on that one) about writing.  One thing she mentioned that inspired me to no end was an, “Inspired By” list. She says she keeps them at the beginning of her stories, to remind her of the feel she wants her book to have.  For instance the list for her pirate novel, Privateer, includes the song “Woman” from Boubil and Schonberg’s musical, The Pirate Queen.  You can see instantly why we’re friends. I THOUGHT NO ONE ELSE HAD EVER EVEN HEARD OF THE PIRATE QUEEN.

So I thought I’d do the same for Esmeralda.  I’ve come up with some of the items, settings, characters and old stories that for a time roiled my mind until coming out as Esmeralda.  So here are a few:

Marie Antoinette, the fate of her family, and the French Revolution in general. (Best history subject ever much? YES.)  This also includes the book The Red Necklace.  I get chills just thinking about it. *shiver*

The fashions / weapons / prisons in The Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The jail cell in The Count of Monte Cristo. Not gonna lie- I basically just described that cell, no imagination necessary.

The old myth of the tragic lovers, Pyramus & Thisbe.  (I’m pretty sure Shakespeare was inspired by them as well.)

The bloke who plays Monsieur Thenardier in the 1998 movie adaptation of Les Miserables.  He just kinda stuck in my mind, and then boom! One day I needed a jailer, and there he was.  No Armand Dorleac, to be sure, but I couldn’t really plagiarizeThe Count of Monte Cristoagain.

The book and the movie(s) of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Again with the French Revolution.  I don’t know why since the stories have nothing to do with each other.

Random things like masquerade balls, decorative masks, black feathers, purple silk, dingy cellars / jail cells, clock faces, clock chimes, roman numerals, flintlock pistols, hook & eye boots…the list goes on.

And then of course people: Henry Cavill, Chord Overstreet, Daniel Craig, Mischa Barton, Peter Facinelli.

That’s about it, at the moment.  There are lots of scenes and memories I can’t place, but I don’t want to bore y’all by wracking my brain for too long.  That’s the basics. 🙂

  • ……..well, this friend of yours thinks you’re brilliant. So there.

    So, basically, I love this. I can totally see the French Revolution influence in Esmeralda. And the jail cell in The Count of Monte Cristo. And pretty much everything else. I vaguely remember you saying something once about the Pyramus and Thisbe tale, and I still love that you were able to draw from a old myth. It gives Esmeralda an updated-fairytale sort of flare, you know?

    Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I actually wrote a draft of a novel about gypsies a long time ago, too. You know I have a thing for France (like your thing for Russia), and this story was, predictably, a retelling of Hunchback of Notre Dame. I’ll give you once guess what I titled it.

  • Sara-Anne L.

    Pyramus & Thisbe on the “inspired by” list?
    I don’t like the implication there. 🙂

  • Sam~ haha wait. Was it called “Esmeralda”?! That actually sounds kind of fantastic….I would totally read it. *hint figment hint* And yes i know about your thing for France- I actually kind of love it. (Re-reading this, I’m shocked that I didn’t have a lot of stuff about Russia in this list. Weird.)

    I’m so glad you like my list! And I’m glad you like the Pyramus and Thisbe reference! Isn’t that a wonderfully tragic tale? I love it. Especially how they talk through the hole to each other.

    Sarah-Anne: Haha well just wait and see. 😉 I’m fairly sure I’m more of a romantic than the creator of that myth, though.