Most times, when asked where they get their ideas, an author will look a little blank. Ideas for stories are rarely given out by the Muse in a burst of electrified inspiration, a la thunderbolts. And even the thunderbolts need to be coaxed and molded into a workable story. Just look at the glimpses of J.K. Rowling's reams of notes for Harry Potter. She was struck by a fully formed idea on that fateful train trip, but she still had to do some fancy footwork to get it all to come out right on the page!
Tomorrow, Nix at Scorching Book Reviews is revealing the cover for Surrender the Dark, my December 2016 Random House/Loveswept release! There will be an Amazon gift card giveaway, and a sexy tag line, and a lot of teasing in the form of that delicious cover. None of this fun would be happening, however, if I hadn't been lucky enough to be struck by one of those creative thunderbolts.
I spent the last two years hammering all of that electrical goodness into shape, but here's what the idea looked like when it first hurtled down from the heavens to form a crater at my feet.
Writer self: Let's walk down this very snowy road in Cambridge, Massachusetts to look at pretty Gothic and Victorian architecture before we get a hot cocoa.
Non-writer self: As long as there's cocoa. Otherwise forget it. It's cold and slippery out here.
...one hour later
Non-writer self: Can we go in now?
Writer self: One more picture of this amazingly creepy Gothic Revival mansion!
Non-writer self: You don't even know that's what it's really called.
Writer self: I'm a writer. I can call it what I want.
Non-writer: Don't let your readers catch on that you're doing that.
Writer: Fine. We'll go in.
...walks down considerably slippery brick sidewalks that have no traction whatsoever, sliding toward Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge and the best cocoa ever,
Writer: It'd really suck to not be able to see these bricks. They're completely uneven and covered in ice. I would feel trapped on this street if I were unable to see.
Non-writer: You're going to break your neck. Hold on to that tree!
Writer: Hm. There aren't any of those funky chirping signal lights at the corners on this very busy street. That'd be another minus for a non-sighted person around here.
*looks up at tall probably-not-Gothic building while waiting for light to change*
Non-writer: I'm cold.
Writer: That building is really cool. It'd be better if it had some gargoyles on it though instead of those urns at the corners...
*takes out phone to snap pic*
Non-writer: I am not effing taking off my gloves! ... Dammit! You took off your gloves!
*snaps pics through several light changes*
Writer: If it had gargoyles then it'd be cool if there were vampires crouching up there too...
Non-writer: What the hell are you talking about, crazy woman?
Writer: And what if there was a blind man down here waiting for the light, and a vampire was crouching up there watching him?
Non-writer: *face palm*
Writer: And and wait! What if the blind man were a vampire HUNTER! And the vampire up there was his nemesis, and the poor hunter had just run the gauntlet of this horrible brick sidewalk and didn't know that his nemesis was about to leap down on his freezing cold head?
Non-writer: I'm going to leap on your head in a minute if you don't get me that cocoa you promised.
Writer: *Grumbles, but happily shuffles off to the cafe to make notes.*
And that, dear reader, is how I find my ideas. Or they find me. I haven't yet decided which.