There is inspiration behind everything I write, whether it be the person the character is based on, or the similar experience one of them are going through that I myself have gone through. In my new series The Next Page that I am working on, the first book has a lot of experiences from the past 12 years or so of my life interwoven between the words. And I have plans in the series to have a storyline based around bullying and possibly a school shooting, as well as a terrorist attack.
I have underwent the bullying, but luckily not the shooting. And it may not take place in a school it may be something else crazy. And as for the terrorist attack I haven't been through that personally either, except for what was felt during 9/11/01.
That's the crazy thing about inspiration. You can find it in good times and traumatic times. When 9/11 happened I was working on another entirely different series, my first book I ever ended up self publishing. The plotline was great, the book itself was a train wreck. I only had a word processor at the time, not a computer, and there were no chapters. I don't even think I had paragraphs. Yeah, it was that bad.
Anyway, I was working on this other series and decided soon after I needed to have a storyline with 9/11. It was so huge and mind boggling, and seemed to affect so many, I didn't see how I could ignore it as a writer.
The first book in the series was all that ever got published, Since I never owned a computer until years later I didn't bother with trying to do anything with it. I wrote everything in wire rimmed notebooks.
So, yes there were a lot of things that inspired me as I wrote each of my books. In The Edge of Springwood, it's been the characters themselves. They have grown into something amazing since I first created them years ago. They truly aren't the same characters, they are something more. And they drive the storyline, not me. The ideas come to me, but it's entirely up to them as to where it takes them.
I'm just along for the ride.