Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote Elixir Bound and the forthcoming Elixir Saved so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of a picture app called THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and a book editor. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her family.
Visit her at the Katie L. Carroll website
Follow her on Twitter @KatieLCarroll.
No two story ideas have ever come to me from the same lightning strike of inspiration. The first book I ever wrote was inspired by my sister who passed away at the age of 16. My dad encouraged me to write a fantasy adventure for her to live on in the pages of a book. The second book I wrote had a setting based on a very real place in my hometown and a character voice in my head that wouldn’t go away. Then I wrote a picture book after noticing how the ceiling fan above my bed closely resembled a giant.
My current work in progress grew from a very specific moment of inspiration. While I was relaxing out on my back deck—probably reading—a butterfly flitted by. Seeing a butterfly wasn’t a rare occurrence as I have a beautiful butterfly bush in my backyard that attracts all manner of insects (and the rare hummingbird), but it was the color of this butterfly that caught my attention. It was a velvety black, so incongruous with the yellow and orange I was accustomed to seeing.
The contrast of the sinister symbolism of the color black and the association of the butterfly with transformation struck a chord in me. And then came the what-if that so often inspires story ideas: What if a young woman with a very dark past lost her memories and was given the chance to start over? From this stemmed a whole barrage of new questions, ideas, and images. What would happen when she began to remember her past? Can people really change when give the chance? Why was her past so dark? Etc…
That was the birth of a story aptly named BLACK BUTTERFLY, which I am currently drafting. It’s been really fun to play with the symbolism I mentioned earlier and to tease the main character (and the reader) with a slow reveal of her past.
And just the other day…oh, never mind you don’t really want to know about yet another story idea. Seems I have more seeds of inspiration than I could ever sow in a lifetime. I’m a firm believer that story ideas are everywhere. I like to let them simmer in my mind for awhile before I act on them. It’s the ones that stick around, the ones that won’t let me forget them, that get made into stories.
Remember that story inspired by my sister? That became my YA fantasy ELIXIR BOUND. One lucky reader can win an ebook of it.
ELIXIR BOUND blurb:
Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.
It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.
Buy links: Available as ebook or print
Thanks for having me on the blog today, J.Q. It's been fun sharing my Seeds of Inspiration!
I can't wait to read Black Butterfly!! You need to finish it soon, Katie!! (No pressure :)
Meradeth, I know, I know. I've been talking about it a lot lately. It's coming along. :)
Black Butterfly is a gorgeous title. I love hearing about novel inspiration. It amazes me what inspires a story.
Hi Katie, love having you and your story! Sorry I'm so late getting in here. I thought I'd be back after lunch, but lunch didnt happen till after 2 pm!! I see you are getting along fine without me!!
Meredeth and Kimberly, I love the idea of the Black Butterfly too. Can you see it in the picture Katie shared with us? Thanks for stopping in.
Thanks for sharing your many inspirations with us, Katie. No need to put me in the raffle for Elixir Bound - I'm reading it right now! (And it's great!!)
Hi Heather B--Thanks so much for stopping in. Elixir Bound is on my TBR list.
I love the idea of 'Black Butterfly' and it is very moving to learn how Katie wrote a fantasy-adventure for her sister to live in. Elixir Bound sounds wonderful!
I really love the idea of the Black Butterfly story, Katie! It's so interesting to hear how your mind was drawn instantly to the symbolism, and how you are working through the rest of your ideas. Good luck with completing the story, and with all your writing projects!
Hi, Kimberly! Glad you like the title and thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for popping in, J.Q.!
Yay, Heather! Doing a happy dance that you're enjoying Elixir Bound.
Thanks, Claudine! Elixir Bound is a very special book in my heart for that very reason.
Hi, Helena! Thanks for the well wishes. I've got some good momentum going with Black Butterfly, so hopefully I'll be done drafting soon. :)
Thanks everyone for stopping in and saying hi!
Thank you, Claudine, for stopping In. I agree.How gratifying to write with such inspiration.
Helena, I find it so interesting how Katie remembers the exact moment the story idea hit her. Thanks for coming over to visit.
What a neat series idea, J.Q.! Black Butterfly is an awesome title- I hope it's one that gets to stay the same! =) One of my fav butterflies I see around here is black, w/some electric blue on its wings, so gorgeous!
Thank you Leandra. (I love your name. My daughter's name is Lee Ann). Thanks for stopping in.
Gotta love it when ideas grow from other ideas. Your stories sound wonderful.
Hi Lynda, Thank you for stopping in.
Katie is always cookin' up a good story idea.
Leandra, this is a great series that J.Q. has been hosting. So fun to see authors' inspirations. Sounds like you've got a gorgeous butterfly friend!
Hi, Lynda! Thanks for stopping by and reading about my ideas.
Congratulations to Claudine G! She won the drawing for Katie's book, Elixir Bound. Enjoy.
I've been on a strong heroine kick lately and Elixir Bound definitely filled this role. I really loved Katora, and enjoyed reading about her struggles and travels. In particular, I enjoyed her thoughts on whether or not to take on the responsibility of the Elixir. She really thought about it and it was clear that she wasn't taking it lightly by any means--something that I appreciated as so many books I've read don't seem to take into account the true nature of the responsibility some things represent. Plus, I really liked her struggles with accepting help, as I could completely identify with that. The world-building was really well done and I particularly enjoyed the tilli demicks :) I highly recommend this one!
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Riyanna, thanks so much for leaving a comment on Katie's blog post. I hope you have left this glowing review on amazon, goodreads or your favorite bookseller. Really appreciate you visiting my blog.
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