Monday, September 12, 2016

Fresh Out of Ideas?

Where do your ideas come from?

Hands down, the question I’m asked most often.

I have a vision of an old School House Rock song. I can’t remember which one…Get your Adverbs Here, maybe. There are shelves stocked with words. Wouldn’t it be lovely if ideas worked the same way?



“I’d like a murder, a motive, and some secondary characters, please. A sale on sub-plots? I’ll take two.”

The reality is that ideas sometime take their time arriving. They’re there sitting on a shelf deep in my brain but the salesman with his spiffy vest and tie is missing. I have to paw through the merchandise myself if I can even find the shelves.

Walking helps. That repetitive motion allows me to access different parts of my brain.

If I really need an idea, all I need to is take a shower with no paper or pen anywhere nearby. Is the brilliant idea that just popped into the front of my brain worth dashing naked through the house? Yes? No? If I don’t jot it down, it’s gone forever.

And then there’s that magical place between sleep and waking where ideas percolate like an old-fashioned coffee maker.

My ideas come from reading a fabulous book and thinking I’d have answered what if? differently.

My ideas come from the news, favorite television shows, and beloved movies.


And finally, my ideas come from the people around me (because who hasn’t thought, “I could kill her”).



Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. 

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean--and she's got an active imagination. Truth is--she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. 

Her latest book in The Country Club Murders, Send in the Clowns, is available for pre-order.

1 comment:

  1. I had to chuckle reading this. I also search my brain for ideas while walking but I only resolve plot problems in the shower. (I keep a digital recorder on the counter so I can lean, dripping, out the shower door to record a brainstorm.)

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