In a fit of irony I’ve been inspired by a recent pattern of questions regarding inspiration. Although I managed to sputter a quick, surface response to each inquiry, the concept has lingered in my consciousness, forcing deeper consideration. Where do my ideas come from?
Delving into that question led to a fundamental evaluation of my writing in general. My books may cross genres, history, and target audiences, but there is a clear common thread lacing them into a very signature theme: the exploration of humanity. Very simply, I write about people.
You will not read Allison M Simon to learn everything you need to know about a particular subject. You will not be blown away by my insight into the legal process or description of a prison. You won’t be ready to perform an appendectomy or diffuse a bomb or knit a sweater. Heck, half the time you may not even be exactly sure what a character looks like. But you will know that character better than you know yourself.
You will discover their dreams, their motivations, their humor, their faults, their fears, their failures, and their fantasies. They will infuriate you, fascinate you, tease you, seduce you, hurt you. You will understand them even if they don’t always understand themselves, and in the process you will hopefully learn more about your motivations, humor, faults, fears, failures, and fantasies.
So what’s my inspiration? You. Me. My neighbor. My enemy. The person gazing forlornly out the coffee shop window. I write about people I want to meet, but never have. People I hope I never meet. People I’ve met but couldn’t begin to know. The beauty about writing is the eradication of barriers, of not being confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I can befriend a limitless population of possibilities and introduce them to you through whatever platform my mind can fabricate.
We are a dark and beautiful species. Capable of horrific evil and astonishing good. We are fascinating. We are frightening. We are fallible. But most of all, we are inexhaustibly inspiring.