“Where do you get your ideas from to write books?” I’m often asked.
Many places. Many diverse places. I keep my mind open to anything and, gratefully, the stories present themselves. All I have to do is type them out (a slower process than the idea building unfortunately).
For instance, my brother recently visited – mostly to see his three nephews – and while we were at a little league game I happened to mention to him an interesting story I heard. He immediately turned to me and said, “you love your gossip.”
Gossip. It’s a dirty word and I felt ashamed that he was labeling me a gossip. I’m not on the phone talking, talking, talking to people, or spreading word about so-and-so…but sometimes gossip happens in the simplest of conversation and suddenly I’m hooked on a crazy story I just can’t stop listening to. And then my author-imagination kicks in and I begin to think, “wow, I should incorporate this into a book, a character, a setting, a scene, etc.” The wheels begin spinning inside my head and behold, a book is born.
The “morning shows” (I flip between The Today Show and Good Morning America) are great inspirations for ideas too. I’m constantly talking about one story or another that I heard on either one of these shows. There’s always a new disappearance of a mother or child that’s peaked my interest (and sympathy), or recently an adorable fat-cat, or a dog that can carry an oxygen tank around for a 3-year girl with health problems. And “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” showcases some incredible scenery. All great fodder for the writer’s mind.
Lastly, I watch a lot of kids TV. Just last night, for instance, I was watching Shrek 2 with my kids over dinner and suddenly I had an incredible idea for a YA book. And no, it did not include an Ogre.
I guess the point of this blog is that my mind is never shut-off for new book ideas. A quick jaunt to the grocery store, a run-in with a friend, some casual conversation, and behold – another idea. I never know when an idea can strike, but I’m grateful when it does. May the well never go dry.