Do you ever wonder where writers find ideas? Do they just fall from the trees like leaves in autumn or are they born out of real life experience? I would like to say that my life and my experiences have been exciting enough to conjure up a "best-seller" but truth be told, probably not! What I am, though, is an avid observer; that and I have a terribly over-active imagination, jet-fueled by curiosity. I love to watch and wonder. For me, a great story can be born out of something I see, like an old photograph, or even just a setting, like an old country road. I start wondering where it goes and just who lives at the end of it.
Photos move me. An intriguing photograph can set off a myriad of questions and opportunities for my imagination to fill in the blanks. I always say that writer's are just shy actors. Instead of acting on a stage, we "act out" in our heads, breathing life into our stories and characters. I think the biggest thrill comes when my voice fades and my character's takes over. That's when I know that I'm really writing; when I have to ask, Where did that come from?
Research is another aspect of writing that I adore. There are things in the novel I just finished that I knew nothing about, but had to learn because the character deemed it necessary. I wanted to create a believable character, one filled with vulnerability and the naivety of youth, and put her in an unimaginable circumstance, some of it beyond her control and some of it her own making. And from there, it was up to her to find the inner strength that we all must muster at one time or another in our lives to survive whatever difficulty life throws our way.