Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Solstice High Guest Post from author Ardash Vartparonian

If you missed my review of Ardash's book, check that out here. But today I'm turning over the blog to him. I asked him...what was your inspiration for the story? Here's his answer. Enjoy!

If I’m being honest the whole inspiration for my novel was based off of a daydream. I remember I was in History class, and we were discussing something like the USSR post-Stalin, when I looked out the window by my desk and saw a pigeon on the window-sill. My mind used to wander a lot back then, and it still does many times, but my imagination would take me to all sorts of places. I remember looking at the pigeon, at how content it was and how amazing it would be to fly, and thinking: what if suddenly, in the middle of this class-room filled with teenagers trying to take down notes on the USSR or pretend to be awake or hope to suck up to the teacher by answering some tough question, what if someone suddenly had wings bursting out of their backs?

I was a big romantic, and in my head I had this vivid, sweeping image of a boy sort of blossoming wings in the middle of the class and the half-second of awe and wonder it would inspire… Before it all turned to absolute chaos and mayhem. Beautiful one second and terrible the next. There was a fine line between beauty and horror. I’m quite sure the whole novel started off based on that one image, and then more and more layers were built up off of that.

The more I thought about this image, the more I thought about what it would mean to a teenager, or how I would feel if that happened to me. I know writing about kids with super-powers had been done to death, but I felt in a way that by channelling my own feelings at the time I’d be a step closer to writing about how my teenage characters would feel and react when things happened to them just because we were the same age. I don’t mean that my age gave me an advantage, but what I am saying is that my age gave me a different perspective from people who are older trying to recreate what it’s like for someone who is in their late teens. 

That’s how it started, and then it became a sort of avalanche of questions and answers in my head. What if there were more people with different abilities? What would the abilities be? What would you do? And, maybe most importantly, what would you feel? If nothing else, in my novel I try and convey the sense of uncertainty, dizziness and that fine line that separates joy and terror. The whirlwind of emotions one experiences as a teenager goes hand-in-hand, I believe, with this sort of novel; you might not be developing super-human abilities that make you question what you are or what’s going to happen next or how you fit in within regular society but you will be asking yourself those same questions solely because of being a teenager. It’s such a turbulent time in one’s life, more so for some than for others I’ll admit, but
there’s always that hint of panic at the uncertainty of the future, discovering other sides to your own self that you never knew and scared of the fact that you realize you’re growing up. Developing super-powers and being a teenager aren’t really that different when it comes to one’s frame of mind; it leads to the same questions being asked, and being forced to take a good look at yourself.

I had plenty of inspiration coming my way from my own experiences at school; many of my friends who’ve read my novel have recognized certain circumstances or events that took place in real life. The school itself is physically based on my old high school, as were certain characters. I had this place and these people I knew in real life and I thought, okay, let’s build on this. So I exaggerated here and there and invented quite a bit to make it an original piece of fiction, but the founding blocks (removing the super-human powers) are kind of firmly based on real people, places and situations.


  1. Thanks again for taking part in the tour and hosting Ardash!

  2. Neat answer, huh? Loved it! And I agree...wish my daydreaming led to something productive too ;-)

  3. Very interesting! Great to know what inspired this book.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines


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