Good question! I find inspiration from artists when I can see their blood, sweat and tears go into their work. This doesn't necessarily have to be writers. I do read a lot but I also like to watch films and plays as well as attend art exhibitions and music events.
I've always loved Neil Gaiman's works for his originality. He's done some wonderful adult illustrated works such as The Sleeper and the Spindle and the Sandman series. He always struck me as a person who wrote exactly what he wanted with no thought about popularity or what would sell.
There's also an Australian Theatre company that put on a wonderful puppet production called The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik.
The production has ended now but they've done many other shows internationally and hopefully one day they'll revive Alvin again for tour. Puppetry has got to be one of the most expressive art forms for storytelling- the way puppeteers can breathe life into an object by imbuing it with a simple human gesture.
Finally, I'm inspired by my art and writing teachers who taught me at uni. I attended the Queensland College of Arts where I studied animation in undergraduate and digital writing for postgraduate. In creative arts, some teachers are more interested in ideas rather than technical execution. All my teachers were extremely technical - they taught me to master the techniques first and then the ideas will follow, and that's advice I've always followed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marianna Shek is a writer, reader and ideal eater. She took a ridiculously arduous route to get there, dabbling in pharmacy before switching to animation and finally settling down as a writer. She has a wonderful day job as a researcher and producer. You can follow some of her crazy art and film projects at: www.theunreliablenarrator.com.au
She rambles specifically about books and creative writing at:
Choose Your Own Death
by Marianna Shek
Goultown. The sort of place where kids could walk down the street in the middle of the night. Or accept sweets from strangers because strangers were just friends you hadn’t met yet. A place where grown-ups got tattoos of smiley faces and if kids graffitied, they were sure to do smiley faces too.
That was before the murders began. After Sally Ellerson drowns at the chocolate factory, you know there’s something weird going on. It’s time to take charge.
Choose Your Own Death is a path-picking adventure where every wrong turn unleashes an eldritch evil. If you don’t solve the mystery soon, the next death could be yours.
‘Wicker witches!’ She rummages through her backpack, pulls out a peg and clamps it over her nose making her sound like she’s blocked up from a cold. ‘I’ve read all about them in Scented Supernatural. They lull you into a sense of dullness and kill you.’
‘Sandalwood and lavender. My favourite.’ Angus seems to have forgotten Tammy lying stiffly at his feet.
The trees are closing in. Shuffling like old people. Dribbling waxy secretions onto the ground with every step. The wax drips and curls into crevices forming eyes, mouths and noses. They look and smell like giant scented figurines from a candle shop.
Jessica pulls out two more pegs and places them on you and Angus. The spell breaks.
‘Wicker witches?’ Angus howls. ‘Let’s get out of here!’ He grabs the torch, scoops up Tammy’s stiffened form and flees.
‘Come on, Drew!’ Jessica takes off. She’s the fastest runner on the track team at school. She used to try and get you to train with her but you always laughed and asked what was so great about being sporty.
You stagger after her but the wax on your jeans has set hard. You hold out your hands to break your fall.
‘Wait for me,’ you cry, but the words come out muffled. The wax has coated your lips shut. You try yelling out some swear words but realise you’re wasting time. You upturn your knapsack looking for a weapon. Rock. Paper. Scissors. What the? You will never let Tammy pack the survival kit again!
Marianna Shek will be awarding 1 Choose Your Own Death book mark and 4 postcards by the illustrator Tara Brown (can be sent internationally) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and 1 Choose Your Own Death book mark and 4 postcards by the illustrator Tara Brown (can be sent internationally) to a randomly drawn host.