Where do ideas for books come from? The writer, James Clavell, said he happened across a short article in a newspaper about an American man who became a shogun in Japan. From that small tidbit came his fascinating book Shogun. Personal experience is another popular source to mine. How often have authors been advised to â€œwrite what you know?â€ Iâ€™m guessing that reference is to personal experience, which could be why the local plumber feels he has a book inside him after spending thirty years unclogging drains. Thereâ€™re family sagas percolating in the subconscious, world history with all its glory and gore, ideas â€œripped from the headlinesâ€ and probably a hundred other ways to spark a writerâ€™s imagination.
Iâ€™m a visual writer and see a scene as clearly as if I were standing beside the character. For instance, this popped into my head one day: a young woman I eventually named Allie glances out of her front window. Her gaze settles on a nearby parked car. A man sits inside. Sheâ€™d spotted the car twice before when two men occupied it. She becomes suspicious and calls the police. In no time, the vehicleâ€™s then lone occupant arrives at her door and flashes his ID. Heâ€™s a cop and was on stake out duty hoping to intercept a serial killer who is on his way to San Francisco to â€œmeet upâ€ with Allie. (The cop, of course, is tall, well-built and muy grande in the looks department). Complications abound as the suspense builds. That short visual led me to flesh out â€œForever Mine,â€ my romantic suspense novel.