Friday, April 8, 2016

What Inspires Me to Write?

By Cassandra Ulrich

It never ceases to amaze me how a song can lead to a story idea. But, it’s not every song, just the ones that resonate with me in some emotional way. Sometimes, this has led to idea overload when I’m forced to avoid listening to these sources of inspiration until my imagination slows down.

My first novel, A Beautiful Girl, was inspired by The Story of Beauty by Destiny’s Child. Every time I listened to that song, I thought that someone ought to write a story based on its words. I didn’t realize I’d be the one writing that story many years later and finish the first draft in two months. This book of hope has touched the lives of the many people who have read it so far and continues to do so.

The birth of Love’s Intensity was a bit different. Soon after my father’s death, I began listening to Latino music. The story didn’t form until I saw yet another version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. (Can there be too many? I don’t think that’s possible, but it better be well done.) Is it any wonder there’s salsa, family drama, and sword fighting in this story? Oh, and don’t forget about forbidden love.

By the time the idea for Billiard Buddies came along, I’d discovered Colbie Caillat and couldn’t get enough of her Coco album. Combine that with an appreciation for Billiards and strong female characters, out came a delightful story worthy of a cup of your favorite hot beverage and a comfy sofa.

If It Kills Me, a story currently in contract, barely preceded Billiard Buddies with the discovery of Lucky, sung by Colbie Caillat as a guest on Jason Mraz’s We Sing album. When I heard Jason’s song If It Kills Me, I was hooked after only the first listen and the plot fell into place.

Another bonus is that I find it easier to edit a story if I replay the song that inspired its birth. Scenes fly onto the page on the wings of sound. I’m merely writing what’s dictated to me by the characters acting out their lives in my mind. Music not only inspires me to write, it’s the lifeblood of the stories I share with the world.

What song will inspire my next story?

About today's guest-blogger:

Cassandra Ulrich was born on the beautiful island of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, located east of Puerto Rico. Living in the tropics fueled her imagination and daydreams. For years, she wrote poetry and entered competitions. However, only many years later did she discover joy in writing stories longer than a few pages.

She published her first young adult novel,
A Beautiful Girl, in April 2011. The inspirational novel has already touched many hearts ranging from teens to adults. Her second novel, Love’s Intensity, is a teen paranormal romance and was released on July 11, 2013. Her third, Billiard Buddies, a New Adult romance novella, was released on May 24, 2014. In June and August 2014, she also released two poetry books, “Real Purpose: You Are Special” and “Life Experienced,” written while in high school and college.

Cassandra can be found on Facebook, Twitter, her Blog, and her Website.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me.

  2. I am so excited for you, Cassandra. I love your singing and I want to read Billiard Buddies!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Marie. Please leave a review on Amazon once you're done.

  3. Loved your presentation at the Open Mic Night. Thank you for it. Beautiful.


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