#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Callum McLaughlin

Welcome to The Write Stuff Callum. Take it away!

Callum - cover art

“Where did you get the idea for your book?” – It’s a question any writer will be asked countless times throughout their life. In some cases, we can pinpoint the exact moment when inspiration struck, while often it’s something as whimsical as an elusive dream or a brief conversation that triggers the construction of an entire imaginary world.

With my first book for example, I was simply watching a news report about a country in absolute turmoil. I remember thinking that it seemed like something from a story; far removed from most people’s lives and yet shocking in its reality. Thus, the plot of The Vessel began to form: A dystopian world, a depleted population, a corrupt government, and one woman at the heart of it all, determined to expose the truth. It’s not to say that what happens in The Vessel was happening in that news report, but it’s interesting nonetheless to remember the exact circumstances in which the idea first formed.

With my second book, False Awakening, it was much more random. There was no specific instigator this time around; the plot surfaced simply as a result of my imagination running wild one day. The image of a girl waking in hospital with no memory of what happened to put her there came to me and it soon blossomed into a story that is equal parts a psychological mystery thriller as it is a girl’s struggle to find her voice and place within the dynamic of her family.

With my poetry, it’s even more far-reaching; from the most intimate of thoughts to the most striking of views (I’m lucky to live in the gorgeous Scottish countryside). Really, with a poem, anything is fair game.

I’d love to know what inspired any of your own plot ideas. Did they hit you one day as a result of a specific incident or were they the amalgamation of several smaller threads of thought?

Callum McLaughlin

Callum McLaughlin is an eternal insomniac and crazy cat person in training.

Born and raised in the Scottish countryside, he works as a freelance writer, author and poet, taking his biggest inspiration from the world around us.

Though passionate about music and nature, his first love is literature and when he isn’t writing his own books he will most likely be found reading someone else’s.

You can connect with him on Twitter or his blog, and can find his published works on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Goodreads.



15 thoughts on “#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Callum McLaughlin

  1. Thank you so much for kicking off our new feature, #FabulousFridayGuestBloggers, Callum! I really enjoyed your post, and know others will, as well, and even though I had high hopes for a KILT photo, I still like the one you sent! 😀 Some day, we should have a #TheWriteStuff gathering in Scotland. Wouldn’t that be fun? (Stranger things than that have happened…ask me about The Last of the Mohicans gatherings!)

    Thanks again, and have a great day/weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, sure, Callum. Yeah, that works just as well as a kilt. What was I thinking? (*snort!*) I’m going off now, wondering what OTHER Scottish writers I know who could be convinced that men in kilts are PERFECT photo fodder for The Write Stuff. 😉

      Seriously, I’m happy to have you visit in a plaid shirt, too. HONEST. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Callum McLaughlin and commented:
    I was very kindly invited to do a guest post over on The Write Stuff, in which I wrote about the inspiration behind my writing and invited others to share their stories. The site is a real hub for readers and writers so I highly recommend you give it a visit. Thanks again to Marcia for having me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was great to learn the inspiration behind The Vessel and False Awakening. It’s always cool when it’s related to books we particularly enjoy – and I loved both. With my short stories it’s pretty much as you described the inspiration behind your poetry, though (and I’m sure you can appreciate this) ideas can come out of the blue. Sometimes I read through what I’ve written and think…wow – where did that come from?! At those times the question ‘where did you get the idea from’ is a little tricky 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mel. That means a lot 🙂

      I absolutely can relate. My poems often start with an image or phrase that just pops into my mind at random. Typically this tends to happen in the small hours of the morning just as I’m about to finally drift off to sleep, and of course I have to get up to jot it down before the idea is lost. I can’t even tell you how many of my poems were written at about 4am! Oh to be a writer, eh? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have a great admiration for short story writers (and an entire bookshelf devoted to anthologies of various sorts). It takes a special skill to write a good one, and not have it sound like it’s been pulled from the middle of a longer work. I haven’t mastered it. (I can’t even write a short novel, yet. 😀 )

      Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you’ll come back often.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I vote for the meeting in Scotland – kilts compulsory 😉
    It was the gorgeous Highland countryside that inspired the location for ‘Desprite Measures’. I wrote about a capricious sprite in my epic fantasy (The Prince’s Man) and found myself rather taken with the idea of casting such a force of nature as the central character in a series with an ecological theme. The Highlands fitted the bill perfectly for an area of unspoiled (so far) wild land. I’m so lucky to know the area fairly well, even though I don’t live there full time.
    I find my ideas tend to form when unconnected concepts come together in my mind. That’s where Prince’s Man came from – an amalgam of my love of fantasy and of James Bond.
    News stories are always a good source of ideas – some are stranger than fiction!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Boy, I hear you on the news stories. Sometimes my mouth drops open so far, my jaw almost comes unhinged. Trouble with news stories is that most of them are too farfetched. Mark Twain said the difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to be believable. 🙂

      You and I will have to put our heads together and think about this Scotland gathering plan. What a dream come true that would be. I told Callum, in addition to men in kilts, I want shaggy cattle, sparkling, mysterious lochs, and standing stones. Lots and lots of standing stones! Would love to see all of those someday.

      Liked by 2 people

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