July 7, 2011

A Special Treat--A Second Author--Toni V. Sweeney: N is for Nebraska

Where do I get my ideas? The answer escapes me. “They come out of my head” or “I just make them up” just doesn’t seem satisfactory.
As much as I wish I had an elaborate team of plotters in wait to toss themes and characters my way, I don’t. All I have is me and my imagination.
When I was small, I was exposed to radio serials, movies, and comic books. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and we went to the movies at least three times a week. I was inundated with the adventures of The Three Musketeers, all of John Wayne’s Western triumphs, and epics like Gone with the Wind.
Radio gave me The Green Hornet, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons and Have Gun Will Travel. Comics introduced me to Superman, Batman and Robin, Plastic Man, and Wonder Woman.
Between entertainment mediums, I read as many books as I could—the Tarzan series, Bomba the Jungle Boy and Nancy Drew.
Then came television…
I was glued to the screen as Matt Dillon and Paladin become people and not just voices. The Green Hornet buzzed into view. Superman sped by and Leave it to Beaver showed another view of Main Street USA. I was still reading though now my tastes matured to early vampire love stories and the first inkling that perhaps these bloodsuckers didn’t really like being immortal.
Perhaps it’s the rise of media that spurred me to write stories beginning from a single phrase, “It’s isn’t easy being a wizard’s wife,” to a name remembered from a dream as in Serpent’s Tooth. I’ve written novels with usual plots that suddenly soar into space. Example? A young woman is hired to be nanny. Ah, but the employer is an interplanetary crime lord and the nanny finds herself tossed into an outer space gang war. See? Where did I get that plot? I made it up—nothing more than it comes from my head.
What I’m trying to say is that sparks for imagination are all around and, in my mind, it’s not that difficult to find something to re-do with a twist or an update.
Maybe those sparks come partly from my surroundings?
I live in Lincoln, Nebraska two blocks from the State Capitol Building, and I love to visit the rotunda where the flags of the Native American nations are displayed. Nebraska is the only state with a Sovereign Nation in its boundaries and these flags, representing the Oglala, Lakota, and other tribes, line the black marble walls under the ceiling of the 400-foot tall structure which is the Capitol building. There are statues of famous Native Americans who’ve furthered the causes of their people through their own endeavors and by use of Federal statutes.
And here’s an interesting decree: By Nebraska Law, no building can be taller than Nebraska’s Capitol and this important building is something anyone visiting Lincoln should see.
Toni V. Sweeny’s latest novel is Wizard’s Wife, released in January by Class Act Books. For a look at Chapter One, click: http://www.classactbooks.com/The-Wizards-Wife-Trade-by-Toni-V-Sweeney_p_269.html  More about Toni and her novels can be found at http://www.tonivsweeney.com/  Make sure to check out her trailers here: http://www.youtube.com/tvsweeney



  1. I love reading how ideas come to authors. It is very interesting about the laws.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Wonderful ideas for writing. I love the first line about the wizard's wife!!

    I'd love to get back to visit Nebraska some day.


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