Christine asked me to explain what inspires me. Are you sure you want to know? You’re going to laugh. I promise. Most writers are inspired by other writers, by great works of literature or deeply poetic verse. Many today are inspired by the vibrant throng of humanity surrounding them or the depth of human emotion. Not me. I’m inspired by trees.
I love forests. I love how the sunlight filters in through the leafy canopy, its rays somehow softened and yet twice as sparkly as it captures dust particles dancing through the air. I smile at the artistic patterns on the forest floor that dance and sway as the light passes through the branches above. When a bright ray of light breaks through to highlight a patch of fern or mossy covered ground, I find myself drawn through the darkness toward its sunny location as though it were sacred somehow, this bright spot in a dark wood.
There, in the quiet expectant wood, my heart races. I feel anticipation building within me, as though something incredible were about to happen. Here there must be magic. Here, in this still moment, I will finally make sense of some chaotic element of my world. I find myself searching for something I can’t quite explain, and that is when I find another sort of magic – Inspiration.
All of my books so far draw on these very real emotions and experiences. Every one of my main characters has found her true purpose, her greatest adventure, in the shadow of a familiar wood. It’s not a theme I believe will disappear anytime soon in my work. There, in the forest, anything seems possible. So, when I’m feeling dry and weary, frazzled and feckless, I go to the woods. I’ll take my notebook along for good company and in it capture those bits of magic that drift my way, saving them for another day. Back in the big city, tucked away at my writing desk far from the quiet calm of nature, I’ll pull out that notebook and breathe in the magic once again. Then, I’ll pour it all out for you, dear reader. I’m saving the best for you.
Heather Sutherlin lives in Arkansas with her husband and three children. She loves all things creative and enjoys the worlds she dreams up, longing to live the adventure alongside her characters. When she’s not at her writing desk, she is busy exploring and learning with her children or cooking big, elaborate meals in the kitchen with her husband.
You can see more of Heather at her website, HeatherSutherlin.com
Or, email her at HSutherlin@gmail.com