One thing we authors are always asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” How many times have you been asked that question? Do you have any cute, short, snappy answers?
Well, I don’t. I wish I did. So people would say, “Oh, cool!”
Ideas for my books come from everywhere. My second book was written because I drove 4 times a week by a house which captivated me. Two times to babysit the first grandchild and twice for Pilates at my daughter’s studio. I fell in love with this house. I dreamed about the house. I took my husband by and made him pause briefly so I could take a picture. That picture formed the basis for the cover of TRUTH BE TOLD, a book I hadn’t even begun to write yet.
Vacation visits to Vermont gave me the location for my first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE. I fell in love with the small town of Woodstock. We’d visited twice before I wrote the book, and then later we visited again. It was interesting how different the town looked from what had been in my head when I wrote the book. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t remember it right, but more like creating something new out of my memories. If you’ve ever in Vermont, you must stop by Woodstock. It is the quintessential New England town. Stay at the Woodstock Inn. So charming. (Had to go back to photos. First trip was before we did fancy phones. 🙂 Top pic became home of the hero’s childhood home. Bottom used for descriptions of area.)
ACT OF TRUST grew from trips to Maine. In Boothbay Harbor, we stayed in a VRBO cottage that took my breath away. You know how on HGTV, when the people walk into the newly remodeled house and are blown away with their mouths gaping open? That’s the way I feel whenever I enter this cottage. After the first visit, I wrote the book. Two years later we returned, and it was just how I remembered. Must’ve taken good pics. 😊 My cover artist, Charlie Volnek, did a great job using the pic I took from the back balcony for the book cover.
Each of my books starts from a location. I ask who could live here? What could they do? Why do they live here? What do they want and why can’t they have it? And on and on until I come up with characters and conflict. One place we’ve visited, I asked “Why in the world would anyone live here?” I’m convinced its filled with folks from Witness Protection. Another book sometime?
The idea for this blog came because my husband sent me an article about child abuse, drugs, vice, sex trafficking all happening on a street not far from some elementary schools that were in my district area when I was on the school board years, and years ago. It’s call “The Trail.” It was a grim article about a grim situation. So another location, and I suspect another book idea.
Authors, where do your ideas come from? Tell me the snappy answer you use when you’re asked. And readers, (though we are all readers), what are you really asking when you ask us, “Where do your story ideas come from?” Are you perhaps a writer in waiting? Don’t wait too long to put fingers to keys and put those ideas on your computer.
Love to hear from you.
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