Clicking Our Heels – Where Do Our Ideas Come From?
Readers often ask where the ideas for our books and stories come from. Today, the members of the Stiletto Gang are letting you in on their secrets.
Donnell Bell - My books originate from events that have happened and affect me in life. The first book that compelled me to write (which I never tried to publish) came after listening to a breaking news story about a man gunned down on the New Mexico capital steps. I was on my lunch hour and had to get back to work. Later, when I tried to find what happened, I couldn’t find any details. Frustrated, I made up in my mind what must have happened and that was the start of my fiction career.
Lynn McPherson - My ideas usually come from my day-to-day life--while I'm walking the dog or watching TV. Something will strike me as a good fit for a mystery and I go from there. It could be something as small as tracks in the snow or a disagreement I read about on social media. My imagination takes it from there and runs.
Saralyn Richard - Almost always my ideas come from the question, "What if?"
Robin Hillyer-Miles – I dream of my storylines.
Lois Winston – I’m a news junkie. Most of my ideas are inspired by actual events I read about or see in the news.
Debra Sennefelder – Everywhere! My second Food Blogger book, The Hidden Corpse, was inspired by a neighbor’s knock on our door when she needed help shutting off her smoke alarm. My fourth Resale Boutique book, How to Frame a Fashionista, was partly inspired by a YouTube fitness guru who was reportedly involved in a scandal. Ideas are everywhere.
Kathryn Lane – Plot, characters, and settings often come from simple ideas I experienced during my corporate career when I traveled the world, or an article I read in a newspaper, a conversation I may overhear, or even a detail from a dream. A combination of all of these usually appear in each novel.
T.K. Thorne – I was asked to write the two nonfiction books and got intrigued about the story. One idea for a novel hit me while I was listening to a poem, another from a snarky remark of a coworker, one started with an image of a dancer, and one of a young girl hiding, and one arrived as three words while I was brushing my teeth.
Debra H. Goldstein – Although I steal from my life experiences and observations, most come out of my subconscious as I write. The characters speak to me, and their words pull the ideas out of me.
Anita Carter – Ideas are everywhere. TV, news stories, a snippet of a conversation I’ve overheard. Everything is free game when you’re a writer!
Linda Rodriguez – All over the place. I may read or hear or see something that makes me wonder what-if? And then that combines with something else I’ve read or heard or seen-or even dreamed. Like the sand in the oyster, these gritty little ideas roll around accreting even more ideas until I have a pearl to begin a book with.
Meri Allen/Shari Randall – I wish I knew!
Mary Lee Ashford – Everywhere. A snippet of conversation, a song, a real-life story. Often, it’s a story that I’ve heard or read. Recently I read an article about a man who made himself disappear. That’s disappear not in the physical sense but as in he got rid of every trace of himself in all the ways we normally find people. Fascinating. I don’t have a story for that tidbit right now, but I’m still thinking about it.
Bethany Maines – I feel like I’m sort of a mash-up artist. I get these little bits of things sort of noodling around I my head and then sooner or later they smash into another noodle and then I’ve got spaghetti. Or half of a novel. Depends on how hungry I am.
Gay Yellen – My biggest problem is having too many ideas to fit in one book. They can come from almost anywhere: the news, a lost object on the street, something I got in the mail. In other words, real life.
Cathy Perkins - As others said, ideas are everywhere! For example, my husband and I were hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in So About the Money) and had to push through tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind can go all kinds of strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn't this be a great place to find a body?”
That germ of an idea kept growing. Why would the heroine be out at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?