At every book signing, one of the questions I can always count on being asked is: “Where do you get the idea for your books?”.
My books, much to my publisher’s chagrin, do not follow the current popular trends. If they did, I would no doubt be a more successful author. Instead, I follow my heart. My characters all have a basis in reality. Some are even modeled after friends (names have been changed to protect the innocent, she says with a smile and a wink).
I also find inspiration for characters and situations in the news. The short story that recently ran on my website was about a man who worked on oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, I am writing a story about a soldier on leave in Paris.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, if you let it. Anything from a song to a movie to the weather can be the spark for a story. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during a cold and dreary summer in Switzerland. Had the weather been better, would we have had one of the greatest monster in literature?
Imagination is also a contributor to creative inspiration. Without imagination, Jules Verne would not have pioneered the science fiction genre, and without science fiction would man have dreamed of going into space or exploring the oceans?
Over the years, there has been a mellowing toward certain characters as well. Anne Rice took the feared vampire and turned him into a tragic romantic figure. Stephanie Meyers took it a step further and made her character Edward Cullen a sex symbol.
So, my fellow writers, think for a moment. Where do you get the inspiration for your books? Share your thoughts here; inquiring minds want to know.