I’ve been writing this blog for some time now. Every week I try to think up a new subject, and the well is running dry. At least that’s what I thought when I sat down at the computer. Then I realized that inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere.
My latest release, What Are the Odds?, was inspired by a house with a history. There really is a house with a history and it graces the book cover. However, the story isn’t about the house’s real history. I won’t even go into that. The book is pure fiction. The house, on the other hand, handed me several interesting scenarios.
I don’t want to give the story away, but I will say that the real house, located in the desert, has a hidden staircase, had a tarantula migration, and the rattle snakes seem to think it’s their house. There is a bullet hole in the screen door, but I had to add a fake one to the cover because the branch covered the real deal. The house needed some major work done on it, just like in the book. During the monsoon season, the real place had some flooding issues. Wind whistling through the crevices? Real and a tad spooky. A murder was committed in the real house, although that story and the one in the book are completely different. It was the house, not the history, that was begging to have a story told about it.
I obliged. How could I not?
Now I’m working on a book titled, How Now Purple Cow. What could a mystery possibly have to do with a purple cow? Two purple cows that sit on a bookcase and a dream about a couple who might have been spies during the Cold War wouldn’t let go of me. In about six months or so you might be surprised to learn how spies and purple cows add up to a story. I might be surprised. The characters in the book are certainly in for some surprises.
A Well-Kept Family Secret – A Sandi Webster Mystery has just come out in audio format. Inspiration for that story came from the Red Light District in Old Los Angeles. Who’da thunk? I grew up hearing stories about the area and the people.
I can hear one of my dogs, Sugar, snoring in the other room. It’s not the most feminine sound I’ve ever heard coming from a female yellow Lab, but then what would I expect? A dog snoring can offer material for a humorous scene in a book. The littlest things can make the mind a fertile ground.
Take one bum harassing a young woman, or an unexpected meeting with a woman who was a female P.I. many years ago and a story can be born. How about tales of a ghost town that was simply deserted many years ago? Why would people just leave the town without taking their possessions with them?
Listen to the stories people tell about their past, or the past lives of relatives. A simple one-line story can inspire a book. A dream about spies might give an author some interesting thoughts.
Until next time, look for story ideas everywhere you go. Listen to people talk about what’s going on in their lives. Inspiration is everywhere.
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Sandi Webster books referenced in the above post: