When I read a book I enjoy, I often find myself wondering “where did that come from?” Most times, I never find out the answer, but today, Nikki Noffsinger let’s us in on the inspiration behind her novel Cursed Awakening. Thanks for taking the time to visit, Nikki.
A question was posed, “What inspired your latest novel?” Before I answer that I have answer what inspires me period. The answer is simple-everything. I get inspiration from just about anything. The first story I ever wrote was about the mermaids that lived in the lake outside of our house that became ducks during the daytime. I had a very great English teacher my junior year in high school, Mr. Moritz that gave a very interesting assignment one day. He spread out several ordinary items on his desk and we were to come and take a look. When we took our seats he gave each of us a number. Whatever number we had that was our object and we were to create a story, essay, poem, one act play, or comic about it. My object was a small compass. My story was what morphed into Guardian of the Night. So I think that it just goes to prove that I can literally write about anything and there are very few things that I can’t derive some sort of inspiration from.
So how was Cursed Awakening born? Scoot up and take a seat. This is a pretty detailed story. Several things took place when the conception of Cursed Awakening came out. Cursed Awakening is a book about a wolf shifter who falls for a woman who is determined to have her own life and new beginning after fleeing from a religious cult against some pretty big odds. Believe it or not the love story was not what came first. Actually I had watched Aliens 2 and that night when I had gone to bed, I had a horrible nightmare. It wasn’t of Aliens but it was of something else; something sinister with sickly pale greenish-yellow skin and glowing green eyes. It had blackened serrated teeth and moved like a jungle cat but only faster. I was running from this creature that made a horrible hissing with an almost insect like noise. To say the least, I woke up and didn’t go back to bed for awhile. About a month or so later I was watching a show on 20/20 about the Lost Boys and young girls who had either been cast out or had run away from a certain church known for atrocious polygamy practices. There is where the story began forming. I had a clear image of Ivy in my head as well as the creature feature. However I was still missing a piece to the puzzle-the hero. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted to try my hand at writing a shifter character but I also wanted him to be Native American. Now before all you Twi-fans start thinking I’ve ripped off Team Jacob let me tell you why. Not only is Indian lore and history one of my favorite topics but on an episode of Oprah she highlighted the plight of so many Native Americans that live on reservations everywhere. Many of these places are in such poor conditions. Native Americans; the very first people that inhabited our country and they are all but forgotten it seems. My grandmother has long supported the St. Bonaventure mission that helps the Navajo nation and I have always been an avid supporter of many Native American causes that includes the freeing of Leonard Peltier. Before I knew it Nyx Wahpeton was born.
Monet found inspiration with landscapes and hay stacks in the French countryside. Degas couldn’t stop painting and sculpting ballerinas and dancers. Van Gogh found inspiration in the starry night sky and sunflowers. Me, I find inspiration in everything and with Cursed Awakening, I was inspired by true things that made a great fictional work. So while there may not be any sunflowers, ballerinas, or gentle mounds of drying grasses; Cursed Awakening is a story of survival, new beginnings, learning to trust not only with the eyes but with the heart, and much more. Plus it begs the reader to make a contrast to the real monsters in the story and it has some pretty gruesome ones in it inspired by a nightmare and urban myth.
So tell me, what inspires you? What monsters lurk in your nightmares? If you’ve not read Cursed Awakening, what are you waiting for? When you are reading a book what things are you looking for to grab your attention and what keeps you turning the page.
Nicole Noffsinger or Nikki as she is known is a 37 year old mother of two children and has always loved writing and creating stories from a young age. She lives with her family in a mid-sized Indiana town. Aside from writing she has an eclectic taste in both music and art, loves to travel, and has a great love of all things that go “bump” in the night.