Star Wars, Avatar, etc.? No. Whether or not you see commonalities, I did not base my characters or stories off other works of fantasy or science fiction – at least not consciously. Of course all artists pick up inspiration from other artists, and as the old saying goes, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” So if you’re thinking, “Oh, she made the Celehi after Avatar’s aliens,” (who are also blue), nope. In fact, the Celehi were in place years before Avatar ever came out. And if you think Mike and Han Solo are the same – wrong again. Mike was not inspired by Han despite them both being pilots. Remember, Mike is a very compassionate, self-sacrificing individual who was never a criminal. Nor does he have the same attachment to his ship as Han does the Millennium Falcon. Furthermore, Lash is certainly not Chewbacca. The friendship between Mike and Lash stems from their years together in the same squadron where they learned to trust each other through very dangerous missions (pretty much like any buddies in the military). Oxyrans and Ewoks? No. It was natural to give Oxyrans a hairy covering since their world is further from the sun than Telamier. This also plays into their compact bodies. In fact, much of my inspiration comes from the natural world. I’ve always been fascinated by nature and like to think about why things look and function as they do. My innate love for animals played heavily into the development of the alien species – in case you hadn’t noticed.
Other things found their inspirations not in things that are, but rather in things that are not. For example, I had David getting drunk by drinking bottles of an alcoholic beverage. The question was posed as to how to make this different. Well, if “what is” is to drink a liquid, what about eating? Now go a step further. The result – alcohol pills. Dreams have also inspired both settings and action. The mural in the Piña Dorado hallway and the “water floor” of the ballroom were things from a dream I had. Inspirations have also come from random things in the world around me. I love to look at all kinds of art, listen to all kinds of music, and observe all kinds of events. Little observations have played important roles. When it came to the comlinks, I wanted something other than the traditional talk-to-your-wrist device, but what? Let’s face it, a device attached to your wrist is a very logical way of doing things. Then something seemingly insignificant caught my eye while watching the movie, S.W.A.T. Jeremy Renner’s character of Gamble wears a com device around his neck (like I’ve seen various law enforcement and military personnel use), and I suddenly went “Ahha!” Now the comlinks on Telamier are collars that pick up voice signals while a small earpiece fits behind the ear and relays the incoming messages. And the control for all this? That came from a Nova documentary on new technologies. Apparently scientists are experimenting with using the mind to control devices. The crazy thing is – it works! Comlink problem solved. So my inspiration comes from many different places and I never discredit the small stuff. However, I always try to avoid purposefully copying other works of science fiction.