Guest Blogger C. S. Boyack on Writing and Inspiration #RRBC Author

Welcome! I’m turning my blog over to C. S. Boyack, who is touring with his new speculative fiction/horror novel, THE PLAYGROUND, which releases today. Craig put together a great post about novel inspiration and ideas, which already had me dreaming up storylines as I read through it. Some of the feeds Craig talks about below, he shares on his blog Entertaining Stories in the form of “idea mill” posts. If you’re not currently following Craig’s blog, it’s a fun place to hang out and ruminate on a writer’s life.

Take it away, Craig…


Writers are often asked where they get their ideas from. I think it’s different for every author, but in my case it could be literally anywhere.

I had an old family story that I’d forgotten about years ago. When I heard a creepy song on Pandora, the old story came back to me and I morphed it into a short story that I’m pretty happy with. I may wind up publishing it in a book of short stories one day.

Sometimes it’s a line from a book, or a visual from a film of some kind. A casual reference overheard at a restaurant might be the key to a character that works in my story.

I’ve been watching television and gotten angry because something doesn’t work the way it’s portrayed. “It actually works this way,” has led to scenes that wind up in my stories. Think about the double barreled shotgun that breaks in the middle, the television insists upon making the wracking sound of a pump action shotgun even though it doesn’t work that way.

I wrote one of my novels because I watched a movie with my grandkids. The Disney film Brave has a will o’ the wisp in it. My imagination was sparked, and I wrote Will O’ the Wisp because of an afternoon with the grandkids.

One thing a speculative author should always keep in mind is the question, “What if?” I don’t always have a soapbox hidden inside my stories, but on occasion it happens. This usually involves looking at a situation that exists today and pushing it to a prediction of some kind.

This one is fun to experiment with, ask yourself, “What if…”:

  • The human population exceeds the ability of the Earth to grow enough food.
  • Those refugees aren’t the problem, but a virus one of them carries is.
  • Global warming thaws something evil from the ice pack.
  • A piece of yeast or a bacteria was on the Mars rover.

I’m sure you can come up with your own, but it’s a fun game to play.

I have great faith in my Muse, Lorelei. I also believe in treating her right. I do this by subscribing to various push feeds online. I get news about topics of interest pushed to me without hours of endless searching. When one of them has merit, I make a note in one of my living documents. Some of those ideas led to stories, or even elements that enhanced a story.

Sometimes it’s a conglomeration of all of this. Maybe I get an archeological post about discovery of European graves where a stake was pounded through the skeleton. I play a little “what if” about pulling the stake out. Maybe I add a setting I was impressed with from a movie. Maybe a conversation, or song lyric, inspires a character that would be perfect for this story. A story is born.

I don’t believe in waiting around for inspiration. My push feeds send me data that might work in a story. My living documents serve as reminders, and I keep them up to date.

What works for you? Where do you find inspiration?

Book cover for THE PLAYGROUND, a novel by C. S. Boyack shows dramatic image of young girl's face over a sinister looking house at night with a car in the foregroundBLURB
The hottest toys of the Christmas Season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except, the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power.

To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home?

Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software.

There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start.

The Playground is suitable for more mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.

Author C. S. BoyackMeet the man who dreamed up the story:
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

~ Craig ~

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:

Twitter @Virgilante
Find all of Craig’s novels on his Amazon Author Page

Purchase your copy of THE PLAYGROUND from Amazon 

45 thoughts on “Guest Blogger C. S. Boyack on Writing and Inspiration #RRBC Author

  1. I so much enjoyed this post. Thank you, Craig and Mae!

    I, like you, find inspiration in all kind of things- a line in a song, a statement heard in a conversation, a newspaper article and life in general. I liked the “what if” challenges you presented in the post. The problem is that most of the answers will come as grim stories. I think the exceeding number of inhabitants on Earth is being taken care of by all kind of calamities, natural and man made. Living in Europe, I can tell you that the second one is a troubling issue around here.
    In fact they all are no longer a sci-fi topic but an existential one for humanity. That’s how I see it, anyway.
    Wishing you all the best with the release, and if ever in need of a new place to promo, I can always help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very generous of you, thanks. I try to find something stressful to write about, because all stories need stakes. It doesn’t mean I don’t have human, or even funny, moments within that story. It am always looking for a big picture idea to write around.


    • Hi, Carmen. I’m delighted you enjoyed the post. And it’s so generous of you to offer your blog to Craig for promo. It is scary how certain things we once only thought of as sci-fi and/or possibilities are now reality or becoming close to it. A highly changing world we’re living in!


  2. Craig, I always admire your posts, and especially this one on inspiration and the push posts. Great idea. My son sends me ancient cultures posts when he works late at night, and I am always inspired by them but hadn’t thought of jotting the idea in One Note or a notebook. Congratulations on your book release. Thanks for the post, Mae!


    • So glad you enjoyed Craig’s post, Flossie. I think I’m going to start his habit of saving ideas as I happen upon bits of informative that strike a chord with me. Who knows what might become of them one day~


    • The push feeds work so well. I’m not inspired by all of them, but a couple every month speak to me. Ancient cultures are a favorite of mine too. I add a few lines in a living document as a reminder. On rare occasions I’ll add the link to a folder for future reference. Thanks for the well wishes with the book.


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