Guest Post: Writing Inspiration by By Nellie H. Steele

I recently was interviewed for a podcast and the interview focused on writing inspiration and the creative process.  While this is different for everyone, lots of people draw inspiration from similar things: movies, other books, popular tropes.

The interviewer asked me specifically what inspires my stories, noting that I write in a variety of genres.  The answer is: it depends.  It really depends on the series I’m working on.  Anything could inspire a story, though.

I’ve always been a little bit of a “Peter Pan.”  I constantly involve myself in new opportunities to learn, grow and expand my horizons.  I strive to be a life-long learner.  To always be seeking new horizons and challenges.  And I apply this to my work and my writing.  If I see something that sparks a story, I’ll put it in my writing journal and then I’ll work to build a story around it.

For example, the idea for Death of a Duchess came from a failed cover for Book 1 in my Shadow Slayers series, Shadows of the Past.  The cover (which now is on Death of a Duchess) really struck me.  It didn’t fit with the other series at all, however, I told the designer to hang on to it because I was going to write a book to fit it.  Months later, I sent Lenora’s first story to my editor and the Duchess of Blackmoore series was born.

For my most recent writing for Book 5 in my Cate Kensie series, part of the story was inspired by a song I’d heard (which I hope to use in the book trailer).

In other cases, I may research the main themes until something sticks out to me and then I’ll work the story around that.  

In all of my books, I try to find something that sparks or has sparked my interest in the past ad build a tale that I hope will appeal to others’ imaginations.  

Whether the inspiration is another book, a song, a movie, a character, a person, a picture, or and piece of research, fiction writing has been one of the most rewarding adventures of my life.  Being able to create an entirely new world that blooms to life based around something that inspires me is truly a gift.  I hope readers enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them!

About The Book

Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore: A Mother/Daughter Cozy Mystery (Lily & Cassie By the Sea Mysteries)

A new town.
A haunting legend.
New beginnings or the beginning of the end?

After Cassie MacGuire’s husband dies in a plane crash along with her father, both her and her mother, Lily Bennett, are left as widows. Looking to make a new start, they move together to the quiet seaside town of Hideaway Bay. But their new home, Whispering Manor, has a reputation stretching back centuries. Legends of ghosts, paranormal disturbances and pirate treasure are all associated with the former sea captain’s mansion, starting with the death of its first mistress, Henrietta Blanchard.

When Cassie stumbles upon Henrietta’s journal and Lily uncovers a more recent tragedy in the home, they begin to wonder if the stories may be fact instead of fiction. When the strange occurrences turn dangerous, Lily and Cassie will have to investigate to save their home and possibly even their very lives!

Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is the charming first installment in this small, seaside town mother-daughter cozy mystery series by Nellie H. Steele.

Purchase Link: Amazon

About the Author

An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s TombNellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.

An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies!  A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.

She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.

Check out all Nellie offers at or at her blog, Nellie’s Book Nook, available at!

Author Links

Publisher Website:


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