We have another super fun middle grade book blog tour stopping by today — this time for The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgan, and you are certainly in for a treat today — as the author stops by to share her weirdest writing inspiration. Be sure to keep reading to learn more about the book, as well!
A classic piece of advice for writers is to “write what you know.” This advice is most helpful if you’re writing a memoir or contemporary fiction, but less applicable when you write historical fantasy. At least that’s what I used to think. I figured my inspiration was going to come from the past, not the present. After all, I’m not a destitute orphan (thank goodness) or a scientific genius (oh well) like the characters in my book.
I did hours and hours of historical research into the setting and characters of my book to get inspiration for each scene. I probably burned out Google’s servers with thousands of searches like “nineteenth century door locks” and “Georgian architecture house blueprints” to help me write the break-in sequence that happens at the beginning of my book where a thief smashes a window and steals the main character’s most precious family heirloom.
While my head was occupied with writing about my characters’ problems, I never stopped to think I’d share their experiences. But in an unfortunate turn of events, my life began to imitate my art. I came home from work one day to find the window of my side door had been kicked in. Thieves had entered my home and stolen my laptop, camera, television, cash, and, most distressingly, my grandmother’s old sewing machine. At that moment, I knew exactly how my character felt! My grandmother’s sewing machine was a precious family heirloom with irreplaceable significance. Luckily, my homeowner’s insurance paid for a perfectly fine replacement for my laptop so I could finish writing my book!
A few months later, I took a much-needed vacation to attend a writing retreat. I was looking forward to writing the final scenes of my book in which water is leaking through the roof of the main character’s dilapidated house. Guess what happened at my house while I was out of town? Would you also like to guess who was dropped by their home insurer after two majorly expensive incidents the same year?
Needless to say, I was very glad when I finally finished the draft of my book and wrote “The End.” I didn’t want any more real-life inspiration to happen to me for a very, very long time. But, on the bright side, I wrote a thoroughly researched book, my parents bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas, and my house now has brand-new floors.
Meet George, the third Lord of Devonshire and the unluckiest boy in London. Why is George so unlucky? First, he’s an orphan. Second, unless he sells everything, he’s about to lose his house. So when his family’s last heirloom, a priceless map to the Star of Victory (a unique gem said to bring its owner success in any battle) is stolen by a nefarious group of criminals, George knows that there is no one less lucky-or more alone-than he is.
That is until Ada Byron, the future Countess of Lovelace, bursts into his life. She promises to help George recover his family legacy, and is determined to find her own father along the way–all in a flying machine she built herself. Joined by a mischievous orangutan and the long-lost son of an infamous pirate, Ada and George take off on a cross-continent journey through the skies that will change their lives, and perhaps the world, forever.
A.M. Morgen comes from a long line of engineers and researchers but chose to pursue literature over the laboratory. To her family’s surprise, she has managed to make a decent living as an editor with her English degree. In her spare time, A.M. enjoys taking long walks in the forest, trying out new hobbies (then abandoning them), and complaining about her mean cat. Despite what you may think, A.M. is not a morning person.