Sexually depraved fruit fly gets hammered and becomes a muse…


Sexually depraved fruit fly gets hammered and becomes a muse…

The actual title of the article I read was “Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila and it captured my imagination. I’d love to know who came up with this study and… why? Why would anyone study a drunk and horny fruit fly?

Now, I’m not going to pester the author of this study with questions because he sounds busy… but my mind keeps wandering and wondering and soon, there’s a new voice in my head. Some voices stay with me and become characters. Others fade away.

This new voice stays.  He becomes a very intense (and endearing) research scientist who’s absorbed by his fruit fly studies. My adorable geek begins to show me bits and pieces of his past and I see him as an inquisitive, dirty-faced little boy, chasing and collecting insects. He puts them in jars, pokes holes in the lids, and watches them, fascinated. The images make me smile and I wonder if this character will continue to reveal itself to me.

A few days later my eight-year-old wants to know if the word drunk is a bad word. He begins to tell me a (long-winded) story about an argument two kids had over this. As I nod and (pretend to) listen, my scientist comes back for a visit. This time he shows me a short reel of himself as an anxiety-ridden little boy, peeking out from inside his closet. He’s so sad. The jars he used to collect his insects are smashed on the floor.  Among the broken pieces of glass I see a label for a popular brand of vodka. Someone is storming out of his room, alternately grumbling and yelling. My future scientist is holding his breath, his heart thumping hard in his throat.

So I learn there’s a reason my character now draws on his passion for insects to help study alcoholism. This disease affected the carefree child I first imagined. He lets me in on his current, noble intentions, and I can’t help but care about him. I want him to fulfill his needs. I want him to have his own happy ending.

My geek is sexy when he’s exasperated. Who can exasperate my geek? Maybe someone who is his complete opposite, but who shares a similar history..? A rival scientist from his past with secrets of her own..? She hasn’t entered my mind just yet, but she will, probably inspired by a song on the radio, another article, or a random comment. And when she enters my mind I’ll begin spinning a new yarn about characters I really care about.

I’ll probably never know why the author of the article that inspired me began studying fruit flies, but maybe you can let me in on what inspires you. I’d love to know.



  1. Love your blog. I’m a big ‘what if’ player. Have been since I was a kid. What if B happened instead of A… then what…

    I hope your geek gets his HEA

    • Thanks! Exactly, I think I sometimes drive the people around me nuts with my what-if’s.

  2. What a great post. I loved a peek inside where your inspiration comes from. I get mine from all sorts of sparks too. You just never know what will nag at you and then keep picking.

    • Thank you for the kind words and for the sweet tweet, Kwana! Sparks…I like that…that’s exactly what they are.

  3. I hope your geek finds his beauty, Ines!

    All sorts of things spark my imagination – a song, a newspaper article, a random snippet of overheard conversation, a question from my 3 year old…

    • When you get a spark from a song, do you find you need to play it over and over again while you write? This happens to me.

  4. Ines, I can’t believe you came up with all that from an article about a fruit fly. Great imagination. I got a kick out of the comment, ” I won’t pester the author… ” I assume that was an intended pun on the word pest. I can hardly wait to see what inspires your geek’s woman. Carol Ritten Smith

    • Yes! A pun :-). Thanks for your sweet words! I like your handle. I hope I get to write this one… I hope I don’t lose that initial feeling.

  5. Oh, lordy. What constitutes depravity in a fruit fly? This is how it starts. . . .

    • :-)!!! I know….where will it all end..? Thank you so much for the tweet, Irene!

  6. What inspires me…I write Romantic Suspense…so I am forever reading about the obscure: what doesn’t make sense, what doesn’t fit. I’m always looking for the best way to create a villain. I love a good villain. I think that if the antagonist is strong, the characters who fight against him/her have to be equally strong–stronger in fact.

    So, I’m always on the lookout for that obscure facet that will make my villain all the more frightening!

    Thank you for the post. Very clever!

    All the Best,
    Rionna Morgan

  7. Rionna, I know exactly what you mean… I LOVE a complex villain. I’m now curious about your villian in THE WANTING HEART.

    • Ines,
      Wonderful. I can’t wait to share!!

      All the Best,

  8. So very entertaining, Ines. Can I have a signed copy of this book when it’s a bestseller?

  9. Let’s trade: you give me a signed copy of your first book to hit the NY Times bestseller list and I’ll give you a copy of mine ;-)!

  10. What fascinates me the most about this post is that you were reading that article in the first place! I once worked for a scientist who used drosophilia in his research, and I helped submit his journal articles. But I have to admit I was never tempted to actually read them. A good lesson here — inspiration can come from the most unexpected places!

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