My friend, Kimberly Shursen, asked people about how they get their ideas. She also asked other questions, but that's the one that stuck with me. By the way, she's a wonderful thriller writer and I suggest you check out her books on Amazon or else on her website kimberlyshursen.com.
Anyway, my response on her blog was so long that I thought it would make a blog entry on my site. So here it is:
I really enjoyed your post, Kimberly, and also enjoy your thrillers immensely. As you know, I write different types of books. Mine are called cozy mysteries. I am working on number six right now. Where do I get my ideas? From people. From conversations I've overheard. From questions I've asked. One whole book was totally conceived on the patio of a Panera Bread Company when a friend said, "Wouldn't it be funny if...?" And we went off on a riff that gave life to one of my favorite works. (Note: That book is Can You Picture This?) I write mostly at Panera and that's because I'm an extrovert and get energy from people. At home I have a hard time writing even though I have a great office.
So in the summer I'm on the patio there and in the winter I'm ensconced in booth number 2, from 8 to 11 AM. I call them my office hours.
My characters tell me the plot. When I start I have a general idea, like right now--my book Who's the Rogue? started when I was in a play at our community theatre and noticed there were some dark areas and also that the basement was a little scary at times. I thought, "What if a murder would happen there? How would that be able to happen?" I didn't want to make it the stereotypical theater murder where a sandbag falls on someone's head or a real gun is substituted for the fake one. So I came up with another idea. Then a friend asked me if I'd use his name in a book. And voila'! Wes Friday is the Broadway star brought to my hometown to star in a show. And so it goes....
Wow. Sorry this is so long, Kimberly. Your questions inspired me. I'm going to copy and paste it to my blog. :)
So, do you have any questions for me about writing? Either my writing or writing in general? I'm certainly not the foremost expert on writing, but I do know a thing or two.