Hmmm, let's see.
1) Greek mythology. Shocker much? It's in my bio. Check it. Have I told this story before? In fourth grade, I checked out D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. The rest is history. Since then, I've gone out and devoured every book and website on Greek mythology ever. I've also been a fan of Egyptian and Norse mythology, but they've never really captured me the way Greek has. If there was such a thing as reincarnation, I would have been an Athenian in a past life. Easy. Funny thing is, I remembered the first book that sparked my imagination, the illustrations, the cover, and even certain sentences word for word (yes, that is how many times I checked it out; the library should have given it to me on a permanent loan), but I could not remember the title. Last winter, when I read Percy Jackson, I was so inspired to figure it out that I spent almost an hour on Amazon pouring through titles of Greek mythology books until I found the right one. Then, I promptly ordered it. It was like finding a piece of my childhood. And there it sits on my desk still. I love it. Except the one in elementary school was in hardcover. It's a beautiful book.
2) Fairytales. I love fairytale retellings of any kind. Preferably not modern, though. My favorite author is Donna Jo Napoli. She does a lot of this kind of stuff, and she is a stunning writer. She's done Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel (my personal favorite), the little mermaid, Rumpelstiltskin (a close second), Hansel and Gretel, and more that I can't remember. I very much enjoy a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, since it can be retooled in so many different ways. Robin McKinley has done two herself: Beauty and Rose Daughter (one of the best B&B retellings ever). I have personally tried writing Snow White, Rapunzel, and B&B.
3) Villains. I don't have a true villain in my current novel, only characters who desire the same goal and can't share it. But one of my great loves in writing is telling a story from the point of view of the villain. In a sense, making the villain the protagonist. This is an idea I've played around with many times in fanfiction. Peter Pettigrew, I did more than once. Petunia Dursley--I'm had a lot of fun with that one. My next novel uses someone who is traditionally viewed as a villain for the main character. She's quite forceful and evil. Perfect!
Monday: Girl With A Notebook
Tuesday: Sometimes Helpful Nonsense
Wednesday: Flames and Shadows
Thursday: supposedly me, but not really
Friday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom