I have the pleasure of having M.J. Fifield on my blog today with a guest post about inspiration. I just bought her book, Effigy, in ebook format last night. *squee!*
So while I read her book, you can read her guest post! Take it away, M.J.
The Pewter Pegasus
In my hometown, there used to be an establishment called “The Barn” that was charitably considered an antique store. It’s a Walgreens parking lot now, but during my high school career, it was a junk store that was housed in a red barn.
You could find just about anything there, whether you were looking for it or not. They had furniture, dishes, glass bottles in every shape, size and color, small appliances, large appliances, farm tools, and things that simply defied categorization. It was my favorite place (besides the used bookstore) to go and poke around just to see what I could find.
But of all the things I thought I might one day come across, I never once imagined I would stumble upon something that would help shape my not-as-yet-written fantasy series.
The day that happened, my brother and I were just aimlessly wandering around (not that you ever really did anything else at The Barn). We had gone from room to room without finding anything that particularly sparked our interest—at least not enough to buy—so we headed out.
However, before we made it through the door, we passed a case like the sort in which a department store would put higher end jewelry, and something there caught my eye.
A tiny pewter pegasus.
And I mean tiny. It could fit comfortably on a silver dollar. It could almost fit on a quarter. To this day, I have no idea how I even saw it in a case that was crammed full of other miniatures and jewelry and knick-knacks, but I did.
I stopped. I stared. I tracked down an employee (no easy feat). I bought. I don’t remember exactly, but I think I paid five dollars for it. Whatever the amount, I do remember thinking that it was too high for such a little thing, but I handed over the money anyway because I had to have it.
I went home, put my pewter pegasus on my desk (where he’s been every since), and wrote a story about the leader of a rebellion in some far-off fantasy place whose companion was a tiny, talking pegasus prone to sarcasm and manipulation as he strives to save the world.
One never knows when and where inspiration will be found: people-watching in the park, hiking in the mountains, driving a lonely stretch of highway, in the shower, washing a sinkful of dirty dishes, in television, movies, books—or in a plexiglass jewelry case in the most dubious-looking junk store ever.
That junk store find eventually became Faolan, a pivotal character in Effigy, and one of my favorite characters for which to write (all the sarcastic characters are…I wonder why), and I honestly couldn’t imagine the story, or the series, without him.
And all for the bargain price of five dollars.
Effigy (epic fantasy)
by M.J. Fifield
Release date: July 22, 2014
The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of its young queen, Haleine Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband’s cruelty.
A sadistic man with a talent for torture and a taste for murder, he is determined to burn the land and all souls within. Haleine is determined to save her kingdom and, after a chance encounter, joins forces with the leader of the people’s rebellion. She gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.
Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary as breathing. She lies and steals on his behalf, doing anything she can to further their cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if evil prevails?
Her journey leads to a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she goes, the more her soul is stripped away, but she continues on, desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it means her life.
Available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon, Amazon UK, and CreateSpace
Add it on Goodreads
About the Author:
Armed with a deep and lasting love of chocolate, purple pens, and medieval weaponry, M.J. Fifield is nothing if not a uniquely supplied insomniac. When she isn’t writing, she’s on the hunt for oversized baked goods or shiny new daggers. M.J. lives with a variety of furry creatures—mostly pets—in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley. Visit her online at mjfifield.com.
What inspires you? Have you picked up Effigy yet?
36 thoughts on “The Pewter Pegasus – Guest Post by M.J. Fifield”
Very cool to learn about the origins of the talking pegasus. I believe in those moments of serendipity. 🙂
I’m not sure I did before, but I certainly do now!
What a great story. I like going to my local Salvation Army to browse for random things that strike my fancy. (That’s how I ended up with 5 or so volumes of the manga Bleach that I can’t read because they’re in Japanese, but I like the art!) I think I may need to start looking through their jewelry cases. 😉
The Salvation Army is a great place to hunt for unexpected treasures.
And I have the first five Harry Potter novels in Russian even though I can only read, like, every tenth word. If that. But they looked awesome, and I had to have them.
How awesome. It’s the little things, eh? That makes me want to read your book even more…as if I needed more motivation. 😉
Thanks, Crystal. That’s such a nice thing to hear.
Oh, yay! I didn’t know the ebook was out yet!
You never know where ideas will pop up! I find my really good ideas always come from watching really bad television and thinking, “what if?”
Yes, the eBook became available a couple of days ago. I have just been terrible (to say the least) and getting the word out about it.
And really bad television can be an endless source of inspiration. Not to mention amusement.
Now that’s a cool inspiration! And to think that Pegasus became a real character in your book. Well, as real as characters get, right?
I love how we can find inspiration in such cool places! That mini-pegasus is adorable. 🙂
I think so, too. Of course I am probably quite biased. 🙂
Cool story. Now I really, REALLY want to read it. 🙂
Thanks, Melissa. Another nice thing to hear.
That sounds like a good reason to go shopping. Inspiration! Do you think the things we buy would be tax deductible if they inspired us?!
We should really look into that. 🙂
I love junk shopping, that’s where the real treasures are found.
Oh, I know. It’s so much fun.
Thanks for hosting me today, Loni!
Your post has been the highlight of my day. Much better than the 3 hour dentist appointment with the drilling and the poking and the… *shudder* Yes, let’s think about this post! Much better. 😀
What a great story!! I love this. The Barn; the pegasus itself; the way it inspired your story. I’ve wanted to read Effigy for a while now, but a tiny sarcastic pegasus? You just bumped it up to the top of my list 🙂
Thank you! Everyone’s saying such nice things.
Love this post! And I love shops like that. Just the other day I picked up the cutest little golden pineapple pin at my local thrift shop for a $1. And I bought two Mason jars and a glass bottle! =) A talking Pegasus sounds right up my alley too! And sarcasm is one of my fav forms of communication!
Sarcasm is my main form of communication. 🙂
What an awesome story of inspiration! I wish I had more time to browse flea markets and garage sales.
I haven’t gone garage sale-ing or yard sale-ing in years. I should remedy that.
That is a cool story. It’s fun to hear the inspiration behind characters.
You know I love me some rummage-ing, and that place sounded top notch! And what a cool find.
I can’t wait to get my hands on Effigy, M!
Oh yeah, you would have loved The Barn, Ava.
I love that!!! I was inspired to write a series when I found a screw in the grass when I was twelve, but telling people that isn’t nearly as enchanting as your pewter Pegasus story. And the fact that your tiny Pegasus became a character in your book is really neat. Thank you for sharing that story with us, M.J.! The cover of Effigy is amazing and your story sounds fascinating. 🙂
Wonderful post. This reminds me of all the things I had around me or would catch in stores as a kid. I was enraptured by figurines, snow globes, and so many other things that I still remember. They are inspiring.
Hi, Loni & MJ,
I can definitely relate to ‘finding’ a treasure that I must have even if the price is a tad too high. It’s worth every dollar though if it helps with inspiration.
Love the story! It’s amazing how inspiration happens in the oddest places. Effigy sounds like a great read. I’ll look it up!
Enchanting find! It’s nice when we fall upon a token that fuels a mountain of treasure, and I hope your little pewter Pegasus brings it to you by the bucket load. 🙂
All the best with your new book. 🙂
loved this story! i used to go antiquing in my younger days… before i was a writer. the stories in those places are immense! i really need to go be inspired – thanks, for the wonderful notions, ladies! (and congrats again, MJ!)