Are you a big fan of Pinterest? Do you have boards dedicated to your favorite books or ideas for your own stories? Well, then you’re in good company! Plenty of authors use Pinterest to gather inspiration for their novels during the writing process, and Erin A. Craig is one of them! We asked her to share how she uses Pinterest boards to set the mood for her books. You can even scroll through the many, many pins of Erin A. Craig’s mood board for House of Roots and Ruin!
How Erin A. Craig Uses Pinterest to Gather Inspiration for Her Books
So the thing is . . . (lowers voice to a dramatic whisper) . . . I love to pin.
While I’ve had a Pinterest account since the platform went live, I’ve also been cutting images out of magazines and gluing them wherever since I could hold scissors. I have dozens of actual notebooks full of pictures and phrases and facts because… I really, really, really like to create scenes. I love curating moods and vibes, crafting a specific atmosphere with gloomy landscapes, with objects lovingly spotlighted and limned, with anything sparkling and pretty and full of that magical je ne sais quoi.
Give me a handful of shots and I can plot a story around them in seconds, obsessing over it for days. I’m even worse when I have a plot to fill out. I remember the first time I showed my editor my Pinterest board for House of Salt and Sorrows. She oohed and aahed and then suggested I create a smaller one for the design team because “no one is going to sort through these 5000 pins, Erin!”
But I can’t help it!
I begin each new book with blank canvas, a swath of unknowns ready to be filled in. What does the town look like? What sort of architectural angles make up this house? What kind of corset is needed to support the dresses our heroine will wear? What kind of foods are eaten? What do the doorknobs look like? What does the air feel like? Smell like? Taste like?
So many details to keep track of!
When I start a new board, I grab at anything that feels like the mood of the book. Interesting gown? Pin! Pretty bas relief? Pin! Long creepy hallway that maybe has a ghost at its end if you stare long enough? Definitely pin! Anything is fair game.
As I begin to draft and the book takes on more of a solid shape, I’ll return to Pinterest for specific ideas—what would a candlelit chandelier look like? What’s the difference between silk taffeta and silk chiffon?—but also to make sure what I’m writing feels like what I set out to create in those initial heady days of glutinous image grabbing. When writer’s block creeps in and I feel like I’ve forgotten the why of the book, I use those pictures as a touchstone, reminding me of all the things I first fell in love with in the story.
I always keep my works-in-progress secreted away, but now, for the first time, you can check out my pins for House of Roots and Ruin and see how well I stayed true to my initial vision for the book. But I’m warning you . . . there are a lot to look through!