Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Writing and the Creative Process

Like many authors when I give talks, an inevitable question I hear is: Where do your ideas come from? I always answer that ideas can come from anywhere: the newspaper, television, an overheard snippet of a conversation, a dream, a scenic spot, a person I’ve know, an experience from my life or something that just pops into my head.

In my most recently published book, The V V Agency, I have invented a new type of shape-shifter called a transvictus. I was recently asked where the idea for this came from. To be honest, I can’t exactly remember. I know this. At the time I started writing it. I had an agent who suggested I read a specific paranormal mystery. As I read this book, the idea struck me that I could write something similar. That got me thinking and somewhere as I began brainstorming with myself for an idea for a paranormal mystery, the concept of the transvictus emerged.

My first published novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was inspired by people I met when my mom and stepdad lived in a retirement community. The idea for the current historical novel I’m writing occurred when I read an article about Athanasius Kircher, a seventeenth century Jesuit priest who claimed to know everything and wrote on a vast number of subjects.

All I know is that when I take walks, I carry a small notepad, because weird ideas are always occurring to me, and if I don’t write them down, I lose them. 

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