Drat! Another Idea
People often ask authors, "Where do your ideas comefrom?"
Answers will vary.
Ideas come from the present. The past. The news. Local gossip. Ancient stories. Out of nowhere.
I hit a kind of hiatus this week. The next Maggie Pill book is done, at least until my eagle-eyed beta readers get their hands on the author copies and make their corrections. The next Peg Herring book, tentatively called Aunt Marge, needs time to rest. I believe that, like a roast just out of the oven, a book requires "sitting time," a period where the author puts it away and thinks about something else. In a month or six weeks or whatever, it will read differently, which will bring about all kinds of tweaks and improvements. At least, that's what I preach and practice.
Those two things mean, however, that I have nothing to write at present, and nothing to edit either. I had told myself I'd concentrate on reminding readers about my older books as well as helping "Maggie" push the new one.
And then I happened to look at a folder called "Old Ideas," and there it was, a one-paragraph sketch of an story I'd had, probably while riding home from Florida in the car. Those hours of silence tend to germinate lots of "possibles" that I jot down and promptly forget when I get home, like building an audience on TikTok or taking up Tae-Bo again.
When I read over that paragraph, details starting falling into my head like raindrops. I knew what the three main characters had to be like. I knew the setting and tone. I even knew what crime they would be presented to solve. I wrote it down as fast as I could, because these things tend to slip away if they aren't nailed down. Some will be rejected later, but right now, everything is possible.
The problem with this book will be when. When will I have months to dedicate to it? Maggie's cat lady books are popular, so I should be plotting the next one. And Aunt Marge is almost ready for readers to enjoy. I can't work on two books at once--it confuses my tiny mind--but I like this idea. I'm not thrilled with putting it on the back burner again.
I'll keep you informed. When I know, you'll know.
When people ask me where my ideas come from, I tell them, "I don't really know, but I do know I will die with unwritten books in my head."