Story ideas can come from anywhere. I always say that to aspiring authors, and I often get that question from readers too. It still surprises me when I talk to readers and they’re surprised when I mention something simple like a walk in the park can inspire a story. Even the couple arguing in the restaurant can spark a story idea.To me that is what writers do. A simple, overheard conversation can suddenly get the writer in us to thinking. That restaurant argument continues in my mind with him leaving her with no way to get home and she decides she isn’t going home. She is fed up and leaving him. And suddenly she is off on a story adventure that might get her on a train or bus and get her out of town.
The walk in a park might spark an idea of a body hidden in the bushes up ahead. When I mentioned to a reader how much I love British Columbia and especially Stanley Park in Vancouver because it sparked the idea for my book, Deadly Messages, she gave me a blank look. A walk in the park sparked my idea? Because it had so many places to bury bodies, I mentioned to her. It suddenly made sense to her, though she admitted she had never thought of that when she’d visited the park.For me, the idea of a bloody handprint in an old mining company store in southern Colorado did the same thing. Except I turned the building into a dance hall and my imagination was off and running. The result is my next romantic suspense, Dead Man’s Rules, and it will be released soon by The Wild Rose Press. The cover art was just released and as usual, my TWRP artist did a fabulous job, capturing that bloody hand.
I’m working on the second book in what I call the Dead Man series, and it came from another of those ordinary occurrences … the day I got stuck several miles up a mountain road in the snow and my car slid into a ditch… which I put together with the stories about my parents’ old home and the rumor of buried treasure… but that’s a story for another time.