Where Do You Get Your Book Ideas?

I’m sometimes asked where I got the idea for a book. The answer is, my ideas can come from anywhere: an article I read, an overheard conversation, an interesting person I meet on the El. The important thing is that the idea sticks in my gut, not just my head. Ideas that only exist in my head are usually influenced more by marketing than passion.

Some of my best ideas come when I’m about to fall asleep. A story pops into my head and then, every night, my barely awake conscious adds to it. Sometimes the story dies on the vine, sometimes in flourishes. Either way, my muse rocks me to sleep.

After the election in November, I couldn’t sleep. I’d lie awake every night roiling in fear of what the future held. I’ve always enjoyed reading dystopian fiction. Now I was facing dystopian reality. I was exhausted. I had to do something.

I decided to make up a dystopian novel in my head. Thinking about fiction was safer than thinking about reality. I didn’t have any ideas at first, but I trusted my subconscious. It only took a night for a premise, and then a main character to appear. Every night, I developed them. The setting and story grew. I didn’t write my story down. I didn’t want anything concrete to limit my creativity.

It worked. I was able to sleep again. And now, while I’m waiting for my beta readers to ctitique Goddess, Book 2, I’m further developing the story on paper. My plan is to turn it into a YA novel. I know I’ll return to romance (After all, I have Goddess, Book 3 to write.), but I want to run with my muse for awhile and see where she takes me.

Happy writing,

Kelee

 

When Life Gives You a Dystopian Novel

It seems I’m going to write about politics for the second time on this blog. I never imagined my country would embrace demagoguery and hate. I haven’t been able to sleep the last couple of nights. Last night I got up and watched The Devil and Miss Jones, a delightful Jean Arthur comedy. I couldn’t help noticing that it was made in 1941, when darkness had descended on Europe and Asia. Then, America was the last best hope of freedom-loving people. Now where does that hope lie?

 

I’ve always been a fan of dystopian fiction. Little did I imagine I’d be living it. I was thinking about three of my favorite dystopian novels, Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Hunger Games. They all feature young women who appear powerless against the dark forces in their societies. The heroines find the strength and resilience through their own courage and through their relationships with others. Entering these dark days, I plan to use them as role models. Hopefully, we’ll all emerge into the light as stronger and better people.

Kelee