People ask me how I come up with the ideas for my stories. It’s not always easy to answer this question. Sometimes the idea literally springs from nowhere. I can be inspired by music, images, news, and many other random everyday occurrences. A conversation with a co-worker about a date she had might create an entire romance in my mind. A news story on NPR about an overpopulation of rats in an area could easily turn into a horror novel. My debut YA novel, The Waiting Booth, actually began with an object that I passed in my vehicle daily.
I have a 100 mile round-trip commute to my day job. You can imagine that this leaves a lot of time for thinking and observing. Not even a mile from my house, I passed a structure at the end of someone’s driveway. I live in the country and this isolated wooden structure seemed a little odd and out of place until I figured out its purpose. I speculate that the owners had children at some time and needed a place for the kids to wait for the school bus.
During this same period of time, I also tended to listen to science podcasts during my drive. The shows discussed topics like black holes, synesthesia, and string theory. The melding together of all these visual and auditory cues became an idea for my YA novel. It blossomed into something that had to be put on paper. I think that the best ideas come when you relax and let your imagination take over. The red structure was taken down and hauled off this year. One day I passed the driveway and it was gone. Poof. I’m glad I took some pictures.
What inspires you from everyday life?