Guest Blog: John Corwin

The Four Elements of Inspiration by John Corwin

From the day my mom dropped me on my head she knew I was going to be special.  One morning while I was flossing my teeth in the shower, I decided to prove her right.  What could possibly be more special than writing a novel?  Easier said than done, though, right?

A question many of us ask ourselves at some point is:  How does one write a novel?  What could possibly inspire someone to fill three-hundred pages of high-quality cotton-bonded paper with words about make-believe stuff like on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?

People often ask me, “How in the world do you think this stuff up?  Are you even human?”

The answer is:  Yes.  I am mostly human.  But what inspires me?  What dark well of traumatic childhood experiences dwells so deeply in my soul that it causes me to write about the end of the world and a cat named Nibbles as I did in The Next Thing I Knew?

I decided to barbeque some spaghetti and think about that for a while because I’m not really sure where my inspiration comes from.  Are any of us?  And then I stumbled upon an amazing discovery.  No matter what novel you’re talking about, all inspiration comes from one of four basic ingredients.  I give you THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF INSPIRATION! (In your mind you should imagine a deep booming male voice saying this with an echo sound effect.  Don’t read further until you get it right!)

The elements are:

  1. Ninjas
  2. Pirates
  3. Dinosaurs
  4. Aliens

You might scratch your head and stare quizzically at this list for hours wondering when you’ve ever read a book inspired by any of these.

“What about Twilight?” you ask.

Answer:  Vampires are ninjas who suck blood.  Werewolves are ninjas who can turn into animals to stalk their prey.  So Stephenie Meyer wrote an entire series about ninjas.  Cool, huh?

“Okay, yeah right,” you might say.  Explain Harry Potter then.”

Aliens!  You see, aliens can make all sorts of weird things happen with their minds and they use laser guns.  Harry Potter and all the wizards and witches were basically aliens with wand-shaped laser guns.

Red-faced and cursing loudly, you might next ask, “And Eragon?!”

Duh.  Dinosaurs.  Seriously, do you even have to ask why?

“Aha!  Ah, ha, ha, ha!” you exclaim.  “You’ll never get this one.  Hunger Games.”

At this point I would polish my fingernails on my shirt and scoff at you.  Pirates, of course.  Only pirates would capture everyone and make them fight gladiator style battles.  Their ships were the hovercraft.

So the next time you’re reading a good novel and wondering how the author came up with their crazy ideas, all you need to do is reference this article.  See if you can figure out which of the Four Elements of Inspiration gave birth to my novel, The Next Thing I Knew and maybe I’ll share some of my barbequed spaghetti with you!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!


The Next Thing I KnewHumanity is extinct

When Lucy Morgan drops dead along with everyone else on Earth she refuses to take death lying down even if, technically, her corpse is.

She drags her ghostly social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife. More importantly, they want to discover who or what killed everyone and why the heck anyone would do such a mean thing.

But what they discover changes everything. And if they can’t figure out how to put their newfound ghostly powers to work, humanity will be extinct for good.

Purchase links:





John CorwinJohn Corwin has been making stuff up all his life. As a child he would tell his sisters he was an alien clone of himself and would eat tree bark to prove it.

In middle school, John started writing for realz. He wrote short stories about Fargo McGronsky, a young boy with anger management issues whose dog, Noodles, had been hit by a car. The violent stories were met with loud acclaim from classmates and a great gnashing of teeth by his English teacher.

Years later, after college and successful stints as a plastic food wrap repairman and a toe model for GQ, John once again decided to put his overactive imagination to paper for the world to share and became an author.

John Corwin Social Networking Links:


Comments are closed.