Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Hamsters in the Basement

Today I received an email from someone who'd read my first book, Dating Can Be Deadly. She loved the book (thanks Tara!) and said I could talk about her question here on my blog :)

It was THE question. You writers know the one. It's the most common asked question most authors are asked:

Where do you get your ideas?

Well, I've heard Jenny Crusie say the girls in the basement just send those ideas up when she needs them. Stephen King said his boys in the basement send 'em up. For me, well, it's prolly more likely hamsters in my basement. I visualize a dozen or so little hamsters running on their little wheels whenever I want a new idea.

Silly? Yeah. My ideas come from all around and inside of me. My new Ghost Dusters series came to me while researching another book. I asked a retired crime scene analyst who cleaned up crime scenes and I was surprised to hear that cleaning crime scenes was an entire industry onto itself. My hamsters got pretty excited about that LOL.

As I busily write book two in the series, my mind is flirting with another idea. No, I won't tell you about it. Not yet. Maybe not for a long while. It needs to percolate in my mind. The hamsters have to do a few more miles on the wheels and then the thoughts have to kick around in the grey matter for a while.

So for those of you who are writers, tell me where you get your ideas? For those who are readers, what's kicking around in your grey matter this week?


B.E. Sanderson said...

My ideas come because I'm always looking at the way things are and wondering 'What if'. Whenever an idea comes to mind, I write it down - and they usually come at me when I'm not at my computer. I like your hamster analogy, but mine are more like butterflies in the backyard. They flit into view, but only for a minute, and I have to grab them before they flit away.

Wendy Roberts said...

Wow, butterflies...that's a beautiful analogy! Thanks for sharing :)

Anissa said...

My ideas arrive like the weather. Sometimes it's just a soft breeze tickling my ear. Other times, the storm hits full force. And if I ignore the storm, it can morph into a brain-bashing hurricane. Or a tornado. But I try to ignore tornados. Dizziness and all.

ORION said...

My ideas are dragonflies that swoop in. I have to net them fast or they soar away.

Wendy Roberts said...

Wow! Weather, dragonflies and butterflies ... are you guys writers, or what? LOL!!

Isn't it wonderful that our processes are so alike and yet so different?

Kathy said...

I daydream alot with my head in the clouds so that's where I get my ideas from, the clouds themselves. Almost two years ago on Halloween morning at 2 a.m. I woke up from a sound sleep and started typing away. I churned out five books in a 3 month period. Each one averaged out about 73,000 words. I felt like I was channeling someone else's story during that whole time. LOL. I'm just fixing to look for an agent now that I've spent a year and a half polishing up the first book. So you can say I get my ideas from the clouds of zzzz-land.

Wendy Roberts said...

Kathy, what an inspiring story! Best of luck finding an agent for your stories. I'm sure I'll be picking them off book store shelves before you know it :)