Sep 18 2014
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.