Toppsta Towers is thrilled to have a guest blog from the super talented Jeff Norton whose latest book, Dino Knights, publishes on 6th June. He shows that inspiration can come from anywhere – even playing with plastic toys in the middle of the night!
The idea for DINO KNIGHTS came to me in the middle of the night. Literally.
For some authors, they might dream up an idea or lay awake in bed turning over ideas for stories or characters. Not me, I was barely awake, in the playroom of my house with my very awake two-year-old boy, Torin. He wasn’t sleeping well and I guess since it was 2 am, he figured it was time to party.
Who needs sleep, right?
We got the toys out and started playing. He combined his plastic dinosaurs with his older brother’s collection of plastic knights and as soon as I saw that knight riding on the back of a dinosaur I knew there was a story I had to tell.
The next morning, I drew a crude picture of a ‘dino knight’ and started working up the idea of medieval times where dinosaurs never went extinct. I created the character of Henry, a lowly stable-boy who spends his days mucking out dinosaur pens, yearning for more adventure. And I created the mythology of the Dino Knights, an elite team of young people who serve as a combination of sentries, guardians, and spies for the realm of Brecklan (named after my primary school, W.E. Breckon).
I decided to name the leader of the knights Torin, after my son. Two of the others are named after my nieces, Iyla and Ellie (they became Isla and Espeth in the book).
As an author, people often ask me where my ideas come from. And for me, the truth is that they can come from anywhere, even playing with plastic toys in the middle of the night.