Where Do I Get My Ideas
“Where on earth do you come up with the ideas for your books?”
Almost everyone I meet asks me that question and it’s certainly one I’ve asked of other authors.
The answer? A lot of places.
I’m working on a story now that came to me because I read a Letter to the Editor in my local weekly from a woman who’d been out jogging in the rain, got soaked and was offered a ride home by a man in a big black pickup who had his German shepherd with him. So I thought, what if……
Another time I was watching a mystery on television and in one tiny part of the story they hid the body of their infant beneath a tree, and I thought, what if……
I was in the checkout line at Wal-Mart one day and watched a couple in the next lane in a heated argument and I thought, what if……
I live in the middle of the Texas Hill Country surrounded by ranches. Let me tell you, just watching those cowboys at work, especially when they work their cutting horses, gives me so many idea my head can hardly contain them.
Sometimes I’ll be leafing through a magazine and a picture will catch my eye.
And often I base my stories on people I meet. My son had a friend who was a truly mysterious character. No one knew for sure which alphabet government agency he worked for or where he went when he disappeared for weeks at a time. And so Ethan Caine, the hero of Redemption was born. And The Scorpio Team deals with other men he worked with…or didn’t! But they made for good story material.
So the key is to never rein in your imagination, to always look around you and be open to whatever you see. Who knows? Maybe there’s a story right in front of you just waiting to be told.