Every time I create something, whether it is a piece of art, photography, video production, sculpture, or writing, there is always something new and different. Even though there are always familiar elements, there are always changes and differences.
When I was first considering writing another novel, I had a few vague ideas, but nothing solid. Oddly enough, the inspiration for The Little People came one morning after I awoke. I’d had a dream that night that would become the basis for the story. In this dream, most of the characters were what most would consider “mainstream” fantasy personas such as giants, dragons, fairies and elves.
Since many of these types of stories have already been done, many time, I started thinking of ways to change it to be different. While listening to my wife discuss her Native American heritage with her parents, the thought occurred to me, why not use Native American myths and legends and apply them to the overall theme that had occurred in my dream.
From there I began doing research. One of the places I started was with a Native American book my wife’s parents owned that has stories in it. One story in particular was about a mythical little people. From there I went on to find Native American mythical creatures that were similar to the other characters that were in my dream. I also researched how Native American stories were structured and written as well as names and terms.
Once I had all of my characters in place and had a solid outline, I began writing. Since I already had a basic story, I just began filling in the details.
As I was writing, I continued to do research as the need arose. A major difference in this story compared to the first novel I had written, was the fact that I tried to use actual events and places that I knew about, had experienced, or was familiar with.
One example of this is the trailer on a river in the mountains mentioned in the story. When I was a child, my grandparents took me on trips to a trailer they had that was on the Spring River in Hardy, Arkansas. Another example is that a friend of mine that worked at Riceland in Jonesboro, Arkansas was kind enough to give me a tour of their facility. I used many elements from what I saw during the tour in events that take place in the story.
I had also remembered a teacher once telling me that a good way to flesh out a story is to use things that you already know about. So I began incorporating elements from places, people and events that I had personally experienced in my life.