I work at Costco, and I'm in the Member Service department, which means I'm one of those people who either ask to see a membership card when someone enters or check the receipt when someone exits. I work with some very incredible people. This particular night was extremely cold, so we were all bundled up. I was wearing my nice, warm Kenneth Cole coat, scarf, gloves, and my handy, dandy headband which covers my ears to keep them warm. But I was still cold. I was on the exit door, across from my co-worker Sandra. She was also bundled up, which was very rare, but proved how cold it was. On the entrance side, my co-worker, Sarah, was shivering in her black O'Neill hoddie. It had extra lining, but it wasn't keeping her nearly as warm as she wanted.
It was a very slow night.
Oh. I should mention that the night before, while at home, Sarah had bursted a blood vessel in her right eye. So when she looked at someone, especially from the right side, it was through a creepy eye with almost no white in her sclera, it was all red.
So when Sarah would look at Sandra and me over the small gate between us, all we saw was this blood red eye. Naturally, it was the joke, and main topic, of the night. And since Sarah was freezing, she wore her hood for the last hour or so of work.
Black Hood was born that night. Sandra came up with Black Hood's true first name. That night, I came up with a preliminary backstory for Black Hood. The next night, still being inspired by Sarah's bloody eye, I ended up writing a two-page full backstory for Black Hood and Captain Brutis, including what was going to happen to the characters in my books. (Mysterious Warriors is just the first Quartet. I have six planned.)
So writers, take inspiration from your surroundings, your friends, your family, co-workers, life, nature, sights, sounds... Black Hood is now one of my favorite bag guys in my book series. (Yes, Sarah knows Black Hood is a bad guy. She thinks it's awesome.)