Inspiration comes to me from many sources - music, books, comics, movies, conversations. Sometimes I'm extremely surprised from the source, and last night I saw a movie that greatly surprised me. It was called Warrior, and it stars Tom Hardy (Inception, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Dark Knight Rises), Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte, all of who did an amazing job.
The thing that inspired me about this movie is it used the trappings of an intense, violent world (in this case Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, and the sport of Ultimate Fighting), but the entire movie really focused on a broken family and grieving that came years too late. Two brothers end up in a MMA tournament called Sparta, both for very different reasons (one revealed early on, one much later). This collision of sports, violence, anger, and family all came together in an emotional ending that was one of the best I've seen in a long time.
The reason for the inspiration is that it speaks very much to my own literary themes. I find m writing revolving around themes of family, loss, grieving, and how that comes in different ways for different people. As much as my horror series Devolution is about a zombie attack on a married couple inside their Tennessee house, it's really about a couple's broken marriage and the grief over the loss of their son. It's about how they grieved in different ways, at different times, and what it did to their family.
Great fiction opens the lense on our own experiences, allows us to share in those moments and relate to them. It's what makes AMC's The Walking Dead TV series (and the Image comic for many years) work so well. We see ourseves in these characters, no matter how fantastic the situation.
If I do my job well enough, you'll see yourself, or your family, or your friends, in these characters and these worlds. And maybe you'll learn a little bit about myself as well.