Where do you get book ideas?

Funny how people always seem to ask me that.

  I can remember, as a young writer, asking that question myself.

   First, book and short story ideas are everywhere, but you must exercise caution in choosing them. You might get an idea from an experience, an observation, some artistic influence, some snippet of conversation, just a few words from a TV program or even a passing photo you saw on the internet.

   The main thing is to always be on the lookout for a good story idea. If you’re watching, you’ll find them. Once you find one, jot it down so you won’t forget it!!

  And you never know when or where one will pop up. They come out of nowhere. They can start with one idea and end up being something completely different. That’s the nature of human imagination!

    I got the idea for my short story, The Old Indian, during a conversation with a distant relative at my aunt’s funeral in Alabama. My short story Annie grew out of my childhood experiences with my cousin. My short story, Boone, originated with an experience I had with my mother when I was ten years old.

    Many years ago, while I was in high school, I watched a construction worker have an affair with a woman who lived near the construction project he was working on. Many years later, I wondered what happened to the man and woman after the project was finished. In 2015, I wrote my novel, The Duck Springs Affair, which was based on that memory. Ideas are everywhere. You just need to learn to spot them.

   And, most importantly, jot them down!