Guest Post: Cara Lynn Shultz on Inspiration

I'd like to welcome Cara Lynn Shultz, author of Spellbound, to the blog today to tell us a little bit about where her inspiration comes from:

About Cara Lynn Shultz
Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter. She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people. Spellbound is her first novel.

Inspiration—oh, where does it come from? I wish there was a magic formula, because then I’d never know the (bang-your-head-against-the-wall) frustration of writer’s block, but there are a few things that put me in the writing mood:

I can’t write without music. At all. When I was writing Spellbound, I listened to a lot of songs that I loved in high school—I put those songs on, shut my eyes, and—boom! I’m 16 all over again. (I listened to a lot of Green Day, The Cranberries and Bouncing Souls.) Listening to the soundtrack of my own teenage years put me right back into that headspace of being a teen girl.

When I was writing Angelique’s epilogue in the back of the book—a story which does get a little dark—I listened to “O Fortuna,” the super-creepy Carmina Burana song, more popularly known as the song from The Omen (aka the “Things Are Gonna Get Creepy” song).

When I’m blocked, I like to put on my headphones and just go for a walk, and work the characters out in my head. I get a lot of inspiration just walking around New York, people-watching and seeing how they interact. You’d be surprised by some of the conversations you can overhear in Times Square.

I’m inspired by art—in Spellbound’s case, particularly Rodin’s The Kiss. It’s amazing how something cold and hard like marble can appear so soft and convey such desire, such emotion. The man and woman depicted are supposed to be doomed lovers from Dante’s Inferno—sharing their last kiss—and they embrace with such passion, they could set the damn marble on fire. No matter what tragedy surrounds them, they lose themselves in the embrace.

I’m also inspired by great characters—Emma and Brendan’s last names are nods to favorite authors/characters. Emma Connor is after Conor Larkin, the hero from Leon Uris’s Trinity whom I absolutely LOVE. Personality-wise, she’s inspired more by favorite female characters—tough, but vulnerable survivors. Francie Nolan, Buffy Summers and Elizabeth Bennet come to mind. Those characters are all so different, but they’re all strong willed with such a clear sense of self. And Brendan Salinger’s name is, of course, in homage to J.D. Salinger, since Catcher in the Rye is one of my all-time favorite books. After I reread Spellbound, I realized that some of Brendan’s traits are very Holden-esque. His hatred of phony people, his general disdain for high school and sometimes for himself—I didn’t realize it until I was finished how Brendan was inspired by Holden.
Thank you so much, Cara, for stopping by and telling us about the things that inspire you!

You can find Cara on: Website | Facebook | Twitter
You can find Brendan from Spellbound on: Twitter | Facebook
Cara's debut novel, Spellbound, is now on sale. Amazon | Goodreads

Who wants some prizes?!
There are two awesome prizes that you can win:

Prize #1:
  • One finished copy of Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz, courtesy of Harlequin Teen

The Rules:
  • U.S./Canada residents only
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter
  • Contest ends July 4th at 11:59PM CST
  • One entry per person
  • See my Contest & Privacy Policy for details
  • Fill out the form below to enter

iPod Nano Giveaway

The Grand Prize:
  • An iPod Nano, complete with a Spellbound skin and playlist

The Rules:
  • Collect the pink highlighted words in the text messages between Brendan and Emma, which are provided each day at the individual tour stops. The daily words can be joined together in sequential order to create the winning secret message. Once you've collected all of the words and constructed the winning secret message, you can enter that message on the Spellbound tour home page to be entered to win.
  • No purchase, affiliation, status as follower to any certain blog, or any other association is required to win.
  • For a full and detailed listing of rules, visit the Spellbound tour home page.
  • Winner will be announced on Cara's homepage on Tuesday, July 5th.

Here is clue #14 for the Spellbound iPod giveaway:
Thanks for stopping by! Check out all of the other stops on the Spellbound blog tour to collect all of the clues for the iPod contest, as well as enter each stop's giveaway for a finished copy of Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz!

June, 13th - The Page Turners
June 14th - Candace's Book Blog 
June 15th - Baffled Books
June 16th - Hooked To Books
June 17th - Truly Bookish

June, 20th - Paranormal Opinion
June 21st - Mission to Read
June 22nd - Reading Angel
June 23rd - Miss Page Turners
June 24th - Books At Midnight

June, 27th - Pure Imagination
June 28th - The Unread Reader
June 29th - Bookish Delights
June 30th - Mimosa Stimulus
July 1st - writers write, right?

Tuesday, July 5th: Announcement of the big prize winner on Cara's Site!

These contests have ended.
The winner of Spellbound is Tina W. Congrats, Tina!
The winner of the iPod Nano is Jill of the O.W.L. Congrats, Jill!

A special thank you to Kismet Book Touring for hosting the Spellbound blog tour.


  1. Wow Thanks for your wonderful post! Reading Cara's thoughts is really amazing! It's interesting to read that she can only write with music, I think
    I would be to distracted, but yet... I'm not a writer, so what do I know :)

    Thanks so much for being part of this tour and sharing this wonderful post with us!

  2. Great post, Jenny!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Fantastic post! I've been enjoying this book tour :o)

  4. Haha. I love the text. :)
    I love her inspirations and the statue is amazing.

  5. Great Post =D

    Thanks so much for this chance! I am DYING to read this book! thank you thank you!

    tfalick at yahoo dot come

  6. Great post! The book sounds great!

  7. What a fun book tour Jenny! Thanks for hosting it. This book looks good.

  8. Great post! I listen to music too when I write, but I never thought about going back to my high school music to put me in a high school frame of mind. Great idea!


  9. Excellent guest post! I, too, love Green Day. They're such an AWESOME band. It was cool to hear that the author pulled her characters' names from some of the characters in her favorite books as well.

    Spellbound is still sounding like a great read to me, so thanks for this giveaway!

  10. Thank you for the lovely post and giveaway opportunity today.

  11. This sounds like a great book can't wait to read it great giveaway thank you so much!

  12. What a wonderful post. I just finished reading and review this book on my blog, but I would love to own an actual copy of it! :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung


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