Inspiration from the strangest places…

When writing my story The Guardian’s Apprentice, I wanted to make the world around my characters come alive with details and creatures that would interest the reader.  I discovered that inspiration would sometimes come from the strangest places.

Take for example, the “snark.”  Believe it or not, the critter that inspired this wee beastie was my dear friend’s yappy little dog, Jasper.  Jasper is a chihuahua / mini pincer mix and is quite high-strung.  Very temperamental, he gets really, really mad if you mess with his front paws.  His growls and bears his teeth and, if you aren’t careful, he’ll nip you.  As a result, he was the perfect model for a snark!  Following is the entry (and a picture of Jasper) from my ‘creatures’ tab at  To all of my fellow writers out there – where do you sometimes draw your inspiration from?

Snark – A vicious little creature, the snark is about the size of the common housecat.  It has needle-sharp teeth, hooked claws and a poisonous barb on its tail.  Snarks are very territorial and will not hesitate to attack a larger predator, and snark fighting has become a very popular, though illegal, sport in the wizarding world.  Although some have been domesticated, they are never truly “tame” and have a horrible temper.  The picture at left shows a snark that was ‘domesticated’ by a rather clever witch of my acquaintance.  Although the poisonous barb has been removed (a.k.a. “bob-tailed” snark) you can see the creature has retained every bit of its foul temper.  Although I have given my dear friend a recipe for Snark stir-fry, she has yet to use it and I’m afraid she’s grown rather attached to the dreadful little beast…


3 Responses to “Inspiration from the strangest places…”

  1. Just WAIT until I show this to Jasper! 🙂 You’re going to be in BIG TROUBLE.

    You are so spot on about inspirations coming from the strangest places. You never know when the muse is going to snatch something from your surroundings and whack you over the head with it with a LOUD whisper to USE THIS IN OUR STORY!

    Write on, Michael, and keep listening to your muse because the tales you weave are great.

  2. LOL – thanks! I have a somewhat mercurial muse – I never know when she will strike (and with what blunt instrument…)!

  3. Thanks Mark! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

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