Writers are magpies, gathering little shiny things up and hoarding them. Everyone works differently, and I”m sure most of us have different ways of generating ideas. Sometimes I’ll work from an idea I’ve had floating around, or from minor characters in something else. The Price of Everything started that way with Nick’s brother from my Skylark/Unexpected Gifts series, which is only very loosely related. Add some thoughts I’d had about orientation, conformity, and religion and we’re off.
Sometimes, though, I’m keenly aware that writers are observers. Closer than Brothers, my next release, stemmed from a trip to a water park and some discussions I’d been following on flexibility and the plausibility of “gay for you” as a trope. I have a Halloween story under submission that was largely spawned by a holiday themed solitaire game, ongoing construction, and some very pesky squirrels.
An author I follow refers to them as “plot bunnies” and there is something apropos in that. I can see why they might be the mental equivalent of the dust buffaloes I find under my bed. You thought it was clean, and suddenly, they’re there. Eating your shoes, or in this case, demanding to be written.
So I find myself pondering two teenagers on the boardwalk, obviously absorbed in each other and probably ditching school, a flier for very cheap and just slightly seedy hotel rooms, and some surfers. We’ll see. And did I mention that the slightly seedy hotel rooms are over the bar that started the idea for Companion on the Road, along with “The Carroll County Accident” and “Wreck on the Highway” and a couple of old car shows?