Mine come from many different places: newspaper articles, things I remember happening in the past, what I've overheard, events people mention, and more. One thing that happens when I'm writing a new mystery is that ideas seem to pop into may head--new ideas I hadn't planned on. Do I use them? Of course.
My last book was based on a title a friend told me I should use, Murder in the Worst Degree. Because that particular series is set in a small beach town there are certain elements I use a lot--the ocean, the fog, and the fact the police department has very little money and no modern technology.
Because we frequent a McDonald's that has a group of the same men who meet there every day (at least they are always there when we go) I decided to include them in the book and they play an important part.
(Before going grocery shopping we always stop at McDonald's for breakfast. Here is a pic of great-granddaughter and me going back to the car.)
Other frequent questions include advice about writing, what you like to listen to or drink while writing, but the most interesting one was asked recently,
"Have you ever solved a crime?"
No is the simple answer. There have been a few deaths that were not investigated that I thought should have been--but no one did.
So what kind of questions have you been asked if you're an author--or if you're a reader what kind of questions would you like answered?
Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith