When Authors Play

Have you ever wondered what award-winning authors do on their day off?  Or what they do to get inspiration, find those crazy characters they get us to love?  Well, I have found the secret.  While looking through some new folders my new email update placed, and added emails to, I found an email from an award-winning author.  She sent me a card that was titled “Fun Fun Fun.”   Well, she sure looks like she is having fun.

dianes unicorn.

Can you see the crazy characters following her.  I knew it!  I was told I needed my imagination to develop characters and the reality is, all I need is a unicorn, an enchanted forest, and some free time.  Well, they did not tell me this in the course I took.  Look at those characters lining up behind the author . . . you know who this is.

dunicorn 3

This happy-go-lucky, unicorn-riding writer is working hard, don’t you think?  She is working those skinny little legs for all she’s worth.  And for her efforts a bunch of forest creatures trail her, ready to jump into her newest book.  She has one just about ready to hit the bookstores, and the review sites are anxiously waiting for the signal that says “go ahead, rip me apart.”  These characters are not in the newest book so this must be a new series under wraps.  Huh! There’s an owl, skunk, pig, raccoon – a blue raccoon – and I am not sure what else.  What creatures do you see in these stop-the madness pictures?

Well, now I know what writers do to find their characters and how they spend their free time.  Why I was sent this evidence is a mystery.  Maybe the author will show up and explain her actions and give us aspirings a hint on finding those endearing characters and the unicorn rental service that will take me to the enchanted forest.

If you are a writer, how do you find your characters and inspiration?  Do you need to gallop through an enchanted forest on a unicorn (while someone, who knows who, captures your adventure)?  Or do you have other ways, ways that maybe finally you will share with us novices, the ones struggling to get that first book out, or maybe just cannot find the characters to fill the pages.


(Your secrets are safe here.)


14 thoughts on “When Authors Play

  1. Pingback: When Authors Play, part 2 by Diane Robinson | Kid Lit Reviews

    • “Aaand theeiir OFF!

      Looks like the unicorn is in the lead, turning around the bend she jumps out of the track only to return with a bounce.
      Behind her run all sorts of critters, trying in vain to make it into her next pages, but the clever author is moving too fast for the lame characters to jump onto the pages.
      She grabs the unicorn with her legs and squeezes every ounce of energy Fluffy has to make it to the goal.
      And the winner issss . . . the readers.”

      Thanks for the idea Eric. Just how do you know the unicorn’s name is Fluffy? Hm? 👿


    • A mule? As in stubborn mule? Hm, your writing must be one of those styles that has the reader trying to will the author into telling her story faster, while at the same time grateful for the slow ride. Not an easy way to write, but great for mysteries and detective novels. 😀

      You wouldn’t possibly be open to sending me a picture of you and your mule together, would you? I am starting a collection of author’s and their muses. . I ‘d never *cough* use such a picture on my site.


  2. Hi Sue and friends. I am the author that Sue is trying to make look ridiculous. HAH! I am ridiculous! I laughed so hard I just about fell off my unicorn, What do you mean, unicorn rental place? Don’t you guys have your own unicorns? (perplexed look on my face).

    Play. That is my advice for children authors. As adults writing the children books, we forget how to play as a child, which in turn-turn lets us think like a child, which in turn-turn-turn let’s us create young characters for our children’s books.

    I wrote an article entitled “Creativity In The Forest”: http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/2013/05/creativity-in-forest.html
    that explains how I get into my right brain creative zone and where my characters come from, if anybody wants to check out what a ridiculous children’s writer has to say on the topic.

    I am blessed that I do live in a magical forest where imaginary characters thrive. For those of you that aren’t near a magical forest, I have a suggestion.

    Build you own magical (if somewhat temporary) forest. You will need lettuce bunches, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, and salt. Prop up your lettuce bunches, and asparagus to resemble trees. The broccoli, of course, will be the magic puff balls that every magical forest has. And the green beans can be fallen trees; the salt, the faerie dust..

    Now, you have to get down to eye level to peer into your magical forest. You may have to wait awhile until your imagination kicks in.

    Well, okay, no guarantees here. I’m just trying to help.

    Really, you guys don’t have your own unicorns? (head-scratching motions)



      I am so glad I found this. I was stumped as to what to write and was not in the mood for a review. You always offer whatever post you write–and you have some great posts–, but somehow this idea seemed the better choice. Besides, now you wrote a post you can copy and use on your site. 🙂

      I am lucky to have a friend with such an amazing sense of humor and an offbeat vision of life. 😀 Although I am afraid of what I might find posted on your site now. I admit to not thinking that far ahead. Though I realized now was not the time to reciprocate with my own video or card.

      Diane, you are a good sport and I am lucky to have found your unicorn. Can I borrow her/him/it/Daisy?


      • You can definitely borrow my unicorn. His name is LEGANDARIUS NARTA for you Fluffy/Daisy people who don’t know how to name your unicorn to get the most out of him.

        And, Sue, you should be afraid . . . well, maybe not. i can’t find one incriminating thing on you. But wait for it anyway. HAH!


        • I believe, if I am not mistaken–and I am not–, that you “get me” with nearly every post you pen! I was not looking for a “pay back” because I would not deliberately do that, but when it arrived, by gosh how could I turn away? But I will be continueing to keep an eye on your blog. “Legansarius Narta?” Do you have, of did you write, a character name book? Well,, I do like Eric’s Fluffy. Daisy is lame. 😆


  3. I met LOTS of characters during the 34 years I taught, I still meet them visiting schools doing author talks and supervising student teachers. Then there’s Cupcake…. She IS a character and she gets me out to places where more characters wait.


    • I bet there were loads of characters sitting in your classes, and now you have the pleasure of bringing in new teachers. That must be fun. Good girl Cupcake. I should have know Cupcake was your muse. 🙂


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