Inspirations - for better or embarrassing

The inspiration for Otto

A frequent question posed to authors is, "Where did you get your inspiration?"

I always respond vaguely, but have finally decided to out myself by logging where the ideas come from. The sources may seem a bit odd, but then again, so is Omni.


all manner of SPOILERS ahead


  • The academy campus - When first folks enter The Hub, I hoped they would experience the same sense of wonder I felt when I watched Gene Wilder escort his visitors into the Wonka chocolate factory candy room
  • The elements - based on my college where each dorm had its own personality and culture
  • Appraisement - based on my sorority rush week 
  • Humorishness - my sense of humor was shaped by Bugs Bunny, pure and simple. There are lots of scenes in Pete's tale that were inspired by A Christmas Story and a bit of Ferris Bueller ...  probably a dash of Monty Python at a subliminal level
  • Clothing - I love kilts and Steampunk wear, so those had to be factored in somehow. Thank the Aethereans for school uniforms :) 
  • Bramble On - YouTube show In Deep Geek's coverage of Game of Thrones back when the latter was a thing

CHARACTERS (and who would play them)

Otto himself
  • Pete - Thomas Brodie-Sangster (the kid from Love Actually when he was a tween)
  • Cassie - Robin Wright
  • Lt. Drake - Corbin Bernsen (a la when he played Shawn's dad in Psych)
  • Kyrian - Tom Welling in his Smallville days (sigh)
  • Demetrius - the look of Matthew McConaughey (in Surfer, Dude, but without his accent/dialect)
  • Billy - your garden variety brat/bully. If there's a character who inspired him, I can't put my finger on him
  • Curator Theod - Hmmm not sure
  • General Alberts - I adore Albert Einstein, what can I say. I reckon Tony Shalhoub could do him justice :) 
  • Twinkle - No inspiration for her. She came fully formed, and has only gotten more ridiculous over time
  • Larz - Think Tom Cruise, but with a bigger ego and poofier hair
  • Ivimy - Agnes in Dickens' David Copperfield
  • Speck - No idea. He's better than any humans I know. Maybe based on my nephew Eric?
  • Dame Prunylda Figg - Maggie Smith's character Cousin Charlotte in A Room with a View
  • Preceptor MacIvers - Walter Harrison in the Tea Cozy Mysteries
SUBMITTED CHARACTERS - created as part of a collaborative initiative offering folks the opportunity to see their original character incorporated into Pete's story
  • boBi - created by author DJ Piper  
  • Hazel Briarwood - created by writer Kimberley Thomson Morris 
  • Tallulah (Tali) Marin - created by scribe Genevieve Poston 
  • Posi Truvis - created by writer/editor Cindy Freeman 


The Ghost of Christmas Present
Muppet style
I began recording audio narrations during the holidays so the first two on this list should come as no surprise (or so I would like to think.)
  • Lt. Drake - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's father. I wish I could take it back, and frankly will probably transition his voice little by little to something more akin to Henry Spencer of Psych fame
  • Curator Theod - originally, the Ghost of Christmas Present in the Muppet Christmas Carol. Now becoming the breathy voice on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland who says, "He knows to much."
  • Pete - my own voice, more or less
  • Cassie - she was originally going to talk like Cartman's mom on South Park, but I decided I couldn't do that to her
  • Billy - basic dumb bully speak
  • Kyrian - cross between Aussie, Kiwi, Dim Theta, and a bit cockney
  • Esperanca - a better version of myself
  • Otto - Jeeves! Specifically as played by Stephen Fry
  • Edni - Valley girl
  • Leon - I've been asked what his accent is. Frankly, it's his own, but the closest thing to something real would be Cajun chef Justin Wilson
  • Yinyang - the jury's still out. She doesn't really have a discernible dialect
  • Nadalien - Mae West :)
  • Bramble On show host - Simon Callow (again as featured in A Room with a View. After all, it's my favorite "fiction" film.)

The other thing I'm often asked is, "Which element are you?" Care to make a guess in the comments?