I get asked this question often: Where do you get all of your ideas for these books?
There’s really no easy way to answer this as story ideas come from all over and usually when I’m not seeking them.
Often they come to me through dreams, like One True Mate. It sort of feels like I’m watching a movie in my head and when I wake I still vividly remember every detail. I couldn’t write OTM fast enough for fear I would lose it. I know now that once it’s there, it’s just there. I jot down notes and set it aside for when the time comes to write it.
Rarely, but on occasion I do pull things from real life. I find I do this in smaller scenes and in ways I don’t really even think about as part of my life until someone else points them out. So, it’s definitely there in an element of my storytelling.
Sometimes it can be the smallest of objects that I see at just the right moment that triggers a new idea. Often it isn’t even related to the object I’ve seen, but for some reason it sparks my creative side. Or perhaps an animal I pass along the way. I mean, I do write shifters. Ember was inspired by the ground squirrels I saw playing at a scenic stop near Hoover Dam in Nevada while taking an extra day after a 20 Books Writers Convention in Vegas.
And like most authors will agree, for some reason, taking a hot shower seems to relax the body and open the mind. It is not uncommon to find a notebook and pen in my bathroom for just this reason.
Then for me, as you probably know, I love to travel. Places and people I see along the way often provide inspiration for my stories. This was most definitely the case for my current WIP, Ravenden.
Ravenden is a tiny town in Arkansas that we happened to pass through on our way home from my sister’s lake house last fall just after I had signed on for The Diner 2 project.
Just like The Diner has a generic name, in Ravenden there was a small restaurant called The Restaurant. I had joked with my daughters that with a minor name tweak it could be The Diner. As we drove on there was a large raven statue in the center of town. My mind was already putting the pieces of a new puzzle together. We crossed a bridge and just on the the other side was stone wall with a large iron gate. Off in the distance I could see the top of a large home in the matching brown and orange colored stone and I yelled, “Stop the car!”
My daughter, Hope was driving at the time and did a U-turn in the middle of the road in our big ‘ol 15 passenger van we travel in and we went back for pictures and video of the town as a new story locked into place, a story filled of raven shifters with magical powers that evolved into the story Ravenden releasing in The Diner 2 shared world box set in just 4 weeks.
If you’re interested in reading Ravenden, the box set is on sale for pre-order right now: mybook.to/Diner2
So you see, there’s no right or wrong answer to this questions of where stories come from. They come through dreams, life, experiences, places, people, animals, objects, and some that I just don’t even know. They’re just there. You don’t have to actively seek new ideas, just open your mind and allow your imagination to flow.