It's the simple classic question, "Where to you get your ideas?"
So I’ve kind of developed a standard answer. “I get a little inkling of ‘that would make a cool story’ then I start on ‘What If’ until I’ve got a book.
That’s true to some extent but usually the specifics are so weird it’s hard to explain how I got from Point A--me walking through a living history museum, to Point B--art teacher running for her life and traveling through time.
Okay, I admit I’ve never written that one yet.
But any writer knows idea can come from strange places.
Petticoat Ranch, the honest truth of Petticoat Ranch is it was inspired by the third Dirty Harry movie The Enforcer (it was about vigilantes if you’ll remember) and a Clive Cussler novel. Surely everyone can see the comparison. Throw in that my husband and I having four daughters when he’s from a family of all boys and you’ve got yourself … a western romance novel?
I’ve got a book releasing in June called Nosy in Nebraska that contains three cozy mysteries. They came out in the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club and now they’ve been bound into a collection that will be in book stores in June.
The first book in that anthology, Of Mice. . . and Murder was inspired by the year I spent working at my local newspaper. The smallest imaginable small town weekly. I also used a cool old house in my hometown as a model for the house my heroine inherits, plus I included my own fear of mice. I went far afield though with the dead body in the pantry and the handsome young carpenter who has left a high paying job in Chicago and moved to town to indulge his love of working with his hands.
The dead body--could happen. The big city rich guy in a small town? That is pure fiction. It NEVER HAPPENS.
I’ll move on now to Montana Rose, coming in July. This is also a stretch to believe but I was inspired to write Montana Rose after reading Love Comes Softly. I love that book. Janette Oke’s classic Christian romance. Montana Rose starts in a similar vein to Oke’s, a pregnant widow in need of a husband in the west. That’s pretty much where I abandoned all similarity. Mayhem ensued. I promise that, if I hadn’t just told you that’s where I got my idea, you’d never have guessed.
You can see that, even though this is a question we get asked all the time, non-writers really don’t want to know the truth. It’s just too weird. I got an idea for a murder mystery from a weird automated phone call my mother once got. And yes, I got an idea for a time travel mystery once while walking through a very deserted living history museum.
Buffalo Gal was inspired by a newspaper article. And my own rather obsessive interest in buffalo
The Clueless Cowboy is more than any other book a real ‘Write What You Know’ book, about a country girl. That's me without mentioning the mice phobia.
The Bossy Bridegroom well, we won’t say what troublesome man inspired that. Best to leave that to the imagination.
So how about you? Where to you get YOUR ideas?