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"Where Do You Get Your Ideas?"

When I meet someone new, one of their first questions is this. I know it's the same question I'd asked authors when I first started attending writers' conferences. While every author is different, it's safe to say that we find inspiration all around us. From a movie we've enjoyed, an article in a magazine, a story in the newspaper or on TV. It could be a conversation we overheard at a coffee shop (writers are notorious eavesdroppers). Or perhaps an experience when we were on vacation.

Me? I've always been a bit of a daydreamer. Maybe I have a touch of ADD; I've never had it checked out. ;-) But those flights of fancy frequently take me to new places I'd like to explore and the imaginary people who live there and overcome some serious obstacles to find their happily-ever-afters. (I AM a romance writer, after all!)

Mostly, writers of ALL fiction genres (mystery, science fiction, fantasy, etc.) start their stories by wondering, "What if?" What if we woke one morning to find the Beatles had never existed? (the movie "Yesterday") What if apes ruled the world? (Planet of the Apes series) What if a meteor was hurtling through space on a collision course for Earth (which is decidedly unlikely, but I digress)? (Any number of movies)

For a romance it could be something as simple as "What if the man who left you at the altar returns after a ten-year absence?" or "What if you were stranded for a week in a mountain lodge with the Austrian men's ski team?" Ooo, that one sounds fun!

The new series I'm currently writing was inspired by several of the lovely ladies who live in my age-55+ retirement community. My fictional heroines have a little time on their hands, and decide to meddle in the love lives of their unmarried children and adult grandchildren. The twist is that they do it by impersonating their offspring online... (Can you see why the series is called "The Catfish Club?")

How about you? All of us are creative in one way or another. What inspires your art? Your woodworking? Your gardening? Let me know and join in the conversation!


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