Inspirations for Adaptation

The number one question every author gets is some variation of, "Where do you get your inspiration?" The answer, of course, is it depends on the book. For Adaptation, the initial idea came from a dream I had (really!), but beyond that spark, I drew inspiration from many different things: television shows, news reports, locations, science. Here are five things that inspired me when writing Adaptation:

Self Comes to Mind by Antonio Damasio

When people think of science fiction, I bet the science that comes to mind is typically of the rocket variety: spaceships, machines, high tech gadgets, laser guns! But science is a broad field, and some of the most interesting stuff these days is being done in neuroscience. Yes, I read this entire book as part of the research for Adaptation. I thought it was totally fascinating.

Mysterious Universe

This podcast from Australia chronicles the paranormal world, from UFOs to ghosts and everything in between — and it sounds amazing because it features fantastic electronic music. It's an entertaining, informative, and eye-opening ticket to plenty of strangeness.

Thousands of dead birds

Adaptation begins when the main character sees some birds fall dead from the sky. This isn't actually unheard of — it's just creepy. In January 2011, thousands of blackbirds fell dead from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Here's a local news report about the incident (link if video doesn't work here):

The bathroom at the Lexington Club

The Lexington is a lesbian bar in San Francisco. It has a bathroom that has been painted various colors over time, and on those walls, people scrawl all sorts of messages. In Adaptation, the main character goes to a bar with a bathroom very much like this one.


In 1947, something crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Was it an alien spacecraft? Or was it just a weather balloon? This photo supposedly shows the remains of whatever crashed. The cover-ups that supposedly followed the Army's initial statements that a "flying disc" had crashed have spawned countless conspiracies.

Interested in more of the inspirations behind Adaptation? I've created a Pinterest page with a bunch of inspirations. No spoilers, just hinty goodness.