I'm asked often, "Where do you get your ideas?"
Hmmm. Good question. Hard to answer since having ideas for stories has never been a problem. I know other writers struggle to come up with stories but not me. I have stacks of spiralbound notebooks full of ideas ranging from historical romance novels, tons of suspense and thrillers, contemporary romances and women's fiction. Now, you have to understand, I was extremely shy and reserved as a child to the point where I rarely talked unless I had to, but I was constantly telling myself stories. I was laughed at alot because I would wander around the play ground or be riding on the bus telling myself a story. Out loud. And sometimes would even act them out.
My critique partners are quite amused when I start telling them ideas for a new story. I don't think I'll ever have time to write them all.
You might wonder what sparks my stories--well, almost anything. I love to people watch and do the 'what if' game. I love to listen to real life stories and then tweak them. My second published novel was born from a story a co-worker of my husbands told him, who then told me. This woman had been in the park and saw some teens tossing a puppy around. She gave them twenty bucks and rescued the pup. From that tidbit came A Sheltering Love. Sometimes I dream stories. I'll wake up and grab for the pen and paper before the story leaves my head. My book A Time of Hope came to me this way. I dreamt the opening scene where the hero and heroine met. Sometimes I will have a character first and then build a story around the character. The book I'm currently working on, which will be out sometime in 2010, started that way. The heroine was a secondary character in my upcoming November 2009, Chasing Shadows. I decided to take her on vacation. But she doesn't vacation well and finds danger instead. Sometimes as I'm writing the plot will take turns I hadn't seen coming. That's always fun. In Chasing Shadows I thought I knew who the villian was but by the end I was taken completely by surprise because it wasn't who I'd planned on. So exciting!