Some of us struggle to keep up with the tumble of ideas that assaults us, each idea demanding we write a book about it because it's so great. Some of us are on the other end of the spectrum— searching, searching, for that one idea that will best express what we think we have to say.
I find myself pulled the first direction when I'm thinking about writing suspense novels with international intrigue. For example, a visit to Prague, Czech Republic, last week filled my head with images and intrigues in ancient winding cobblestoned streets. It's the perfect setup, especially if you place the story in the late eighties when communism was about to be defeated by the election of Vaclav Havel, and the world-famous Velvet Revolution happened. (I got the inside scoop on some of Havel's personal life peculiarities from a tour guide who was more than a little disenchanted by what the Czech government had been able to do for her and her countrymen and women lately.) The inherent conflict within the Czech people, especially those old enough to have been raised with communist structures who are now parents of people born into the new world of democracy, is a writer's dream.
On the other hand, I feel such a strong pull toward writing that literary novel that's been lurking deep in my heart for a while now, that I can't think of anything else, even though I don't know yet what it's bone structure looks like. My inclination in my search for that structure, counterintuitive as it may seem, is to turn to poetry, where truths seem to sprout from ancient roots.
Where do you get your inspiration for your book ideas? Do you dream them, live them, meditate them, sit down and deliberately doodle them, or just look and listen to what's going on around you and extrapolate? We can all grow from thinking about what works for others to shape ideas. No one approaches this exactly the same way, I'm convinced, even if the inspiration is the same, and it is fascinating to contemplate that. Where did your idea for your latest project come from? How did it take shape in your head?