Sheryl Wright Stinchcum
Photographs, fragrance, and music inspire me to write fiction. I think of them as props. Of these three, music inspires me the most. I choose songs to fit the scenes I'm writing.
When I was writing THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER, I kept a photo of John Gilbert, the inspiration for "Reverend Baldwin," in front of me. I lit a scented Yankee candle (Roses of Cliff Walk) and played "Call Me Irresponsible," "The Shadow of Your Smile," and "The Look of Love."
Christian music set the tone for some of the most important scenes. Chapter One begins with "Effie Belle Butler" riding a train from Columbus, Georgia, to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Steven Curtis Chapman's "Prologue" from THE GREAT ADVENTURE brought to mind a train barreling down the track.
Sometimes photographs, candles, and music aren't enough to keep me inspired. I find that the best way to get inspired--and stay inspired--is to "get inside the novel" by visiting the places I write about and living through the characters.