FM 110

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 “write what you know?” I’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. There’re family sagas percolating in the subconscious, world history with all its glory and gore, ideas “ripped from the headlines” and probably a hundred other ways to spark a writer’s imagination.

I’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. She’d spotted the car twice before when two men occupied it. She becomes suspicious and calls the police. In no time, the vehicle’s then lone occupant arrives at her door and flashes his ID. He’s a cop and was on stake out duty hoping to intercept a serial killer who is on his way to San Francisco to “meet up” 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 “Forever Mine,” my romantic suspense novel.



The Very Thought Of You

An idea for “The Very Thought of You” was ripped from the San Francisco Chronicle. Actually, the idea germinated before the housing crisis grew to the frightening proportions it has reached today. It started with the city’s population outpacing the number of affordable, available rental units. And so I conjured up Nick Mancini who offers his tenants 25K to move out of his apartment building so he can tear it down and build expensive condos.

Seemed like a good plan until Molly, who runs a not-for-profit clinic down the street, sticks in her two cents. Now the tenants won’t move for less than 100K, what with the sky-rocketing rents in the city. Complications ensue when Nick convinces himself that Molly is ripe for the picking, and all he has to do in order to woo her onto his team is to turn on the charm. Right? Ha! Check it out. Those two go on some roller coaster ride!

So when inspiration comes calling, jot it down on paper or hurry to the computer. You’ll be surprised where it can lead.

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