Inspiration with Artemus Withers

I’m often asked where I get the ideas for my stories. Honestly, they come from multiple sources and somehow coalesce in my brain into a semi-coherent plot and characters. Perhaps there’s a method to my madness as I sit and think about how I arrange ideas and thoughts in notebooks and on the screen.
Plot ideas come from movies I’ve seen and books I’ve read. It seems just about any time I see a movie or read a book and have certain expectations and they go in a direction I didn’t anticipate, I wonder “what if?” What if the character they killed off was the hero instead of the person the writer chose? What if this villain had a different agenda? How much better would it be if such and such unexpected event happened and the characters had to deal with it? Would it be better or worse?
When I have those ideas, I put down the book and jot the idea down. It may take a life of its own then and I fill a few pages. Once it’s out of my head, then I can go back to the book and finish reading it – at least, until the next tangent pops into my mind that must be recorded. Movies are a little different. It’s a rare occasion that someone won’t be offended if I pull out my cell phone in the middle of a dark theater and begin recording notes. I can’t pause the movie and I hate missing anything. In those instances, I usually wait until I get home and then jot the notes in my mind down on the computer or in a notebook. I’ve occasionally started that process on my cell phone right outside the theater after the movie. I’ve taken to finishing movies even if I’m at home watching a recorded one.
These ideas and plot lines or characters are never stolen idea. I literally break off in a completely different direction, creating different characters of my own and the finished story idea doesn’t resemble the material that inspired my thoughts in the first place. This isn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but perhaps a subconscious one. I’d never want to steal someone else’s character or plot mostly from the sense that I want to own my own creation and bring my own twists and turns to a story.
The most interesting I’ve ever jotted down in my notebook where from dreams. I’ve literally woken up from a bizarre dream and walked to my desk and either jotted my dream down on a piece of paper of booted up the computer and typed like mad. It may seem strange, but I’ve found that if I don’t do that, nine times out of ten I won’t recall the dram or details enough for there to be anything coherent for me to draw from. If I jot enough of the details as I remember them right at the moment of waking, I can usually pull more of the dream back from my subconscious filing system to enrich the story. That doesn’t mean every story idea is a winner, but it has served to fill several short stories I’ve written and even a novel idea or two.

Reztapsmall copyThe Adventures of Reztap
Even simple plans never quite work out for intergalactic trader Tar Reztap, and yet he and his loyal friend Gorth keep finding their way into crazy missions that border the impossible. Chased throughout known space aboard the Bloated Namreg (quite possibly the ugliest ship to ever dock in a space port), it’s not long before Reztap’s nemesis catches up. And it’s not the Captain of the Progorian warship (really it was an honest mix-up that started that war); nor the Madame of the Courtesan Academy, who happens to be half-sister to the head of the assassin’s guild. No, real trouble requires blood ties. Reztap’s brother sends the traders spinning back into space on a mission to rescue a princess from a fortress on Alaga One’s moon.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Reztap and Gorth are forced to pull out their back-up navigator – an eccentric android named Chuck, who has a thing for decorating (and “Rezzy”).Aboard the Namreg, a door that couldn’t be opened for thirteen years mysteriously grants entrance to a hidden chamber. Inside is a treasure, a long-lost family member, and a mission no one has to force Reztap to do. This time, he can’t fail. Regretfully, the “rescued” Princess Slurk is still on board, with plans of her own.


Inspired by authors such as Douglas Adams, Harry Harrison and Terry Pratchett, Artemus endeavored to create a world of science fiction and humor to delight readers across the world. A lifelong computer systems professional, Artemus went from the military to government contracting to the commercial world fixing various computer problems and helping workers and companies get to where they need to go. Artemus also dabbled in acting as an improv troupe member for several years and performed in various stage, television and film productions. He lives in Katy, Texas with his wife where they rule their family kingdom of three adult daughters from afar and enjoy the company of their grandson and two dogs.

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