Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. There’s a story in there involving falling in love and flunking out of med school, but in the end it all worked out all right, and, quite frankly, the medical community is far better off without him, so we won’t go into it here. His debut novel, No Hero was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a funny, dark, rip-roaring adventure with a lot of heart, highly recommended for urban fantasy and light science fiction readers alike.” Barnesandnoble.com listed it has one of the 20 best paranormal fantasies of the past decade, and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels described it as, “so funny I laughed out loud.” His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Chizine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as anthologies such as The Book of Cthulhu 2 and The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year One. His next novel, a sequel to No Hero, is called Yesterday’s Hero and is due out in September 2014. Follow Jonathan on Twitter as @thexmedic.
Whenever I want to start writing something new, the first thing I do is look for a picture. It’s become a ritualized part of my writing process. When I’m first starting to plan out a novel, I move like a magpie from tumblr to DeviantArt to Lost at E Minor, looking for fresh sources of inspiration that I can add to my stockpile. Then when it’s time to flesh out an idea from nascent impression into an actual plot, I crack open my art file and start digging. Soon, I’ll find a piece that feels like it’s somehow part of the nascent story in my head, so I’ll stop and use the picture as a springboard for a scene. Just a few hundred words, but enough to generate an idea, a moment of wonder, a potential conflict that will make its way into the novel.
I started this process with my first novel No Hero, and I’ve repeated it a number of times now. Over that course of time, a couple of favorite artists have risen to the fore, old faithfuls that I can always rely on to spark new ideas.
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