And lastly today, I’m happy to have Hannah Hopkins over with a guest post on the blog tour for her book, Space Academy. Hannah talks to us about the techniques that she’s uses to access her creative muse…….
Staying inspired: How do I keep my creative muse healthy?
Keeping the creative muscles healthy is essential for a writer. When inspiration dries up, it can be a very frustrating experience. I’m quite fortunate to have avoided any real struggles with writer’s block when it comes to my books. I feel if I don’t have enough inspiration for a story, it never makes it past the ‘ideas’ stage, and it’s only the narratives that get my imagination going that end up becoming a fully-fledged novel. With that said, there are definitely processes and activities that help me access my creativity and emotions on a deeper level, adding another layer of substance to the story. In this post, I will share some of the techniques I use to access my muse and explore how ideas form and develop!
Visiting a real location does wonders in term of inspiration for me. I love taking videos and photos for reference, as well as noting down certain smells and feelings on my phone to draw from later. Historic places, in particular, really start my creativity burning. I find the atmosphere in old buildings fascinating. The history inside the walls is tangible, and even just thinking about the people that once lived there and their way of life sends my imagination wild. When I was younger, a visit to a castle created a fully formed story of a rebellious princess and the peasant boy, or of gluttonous kings and wayward knights. For my most recent novel, which is set in the late medieval/early renaissance period, I visited locations such as Hever Castle, the former home of Anne Boleyn, and found it revitalised my imagination and inspiration in a big way.
As well as historic buildings, I also find nature to be very inspiring. I think there’s a reason so many authors feature nature so heavily in their writing. There’s something about a beautiful countryside landscape, or the peace of a quiet woodland, or the sound of a river flowing and birds singing overhead that connects a writer to their creativity. I believe it stems right back to the days when human beings were one with nature, and allows us to tap into something that otherwise gets lost in the fast pace of everyday life.
Music and art are also crucial for nurturing the creative muse. If I am struggling to access a certain emotion, the right song can immediately take me to the place I need to be. Art is also a very useful tool to draw from, since most art is a visual metaphor with a deeper meaning to be discovered and reflected upon. As authors, we use our words to create the same effect, building up pictures in the minds of our readers by describing what we see in our own. I’m always fascinated by how artists can tell an entire story on a canvas, and find it really starts the cogs turning in my own imagination!
It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.
Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.
Lose yourself in this brilliantly addictive novel as it takes you on a journey through the stars. But be warned – you might be surprised by what you find.
about the author
In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.
Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Hannah for providing us with a brilliant guest post!
Have a wonderful Sunday lovelies – enjoy every second.