What could UFOs, Thrillers, and First Love possibly have in common? They're all in my debut novel, The Cost of Love. Set in Roswell, New Mexico--the UFOs are a prerequisite. Chapter One opens with Dean evaluating a decomposing body, enough said about the thriller portion. And Lucy does find her first love, as silly as that sounds--though neither of us planned it that way.
But then novels often don't go as you plan them. I certainly never intended to write about Roswell the first time I drove through it, or when I sat in one of its little diners (quaint would be a kind word), or even when I hiked the Guadalupe mountains to the south. Imagination has a way of taking hold though, and when you sprinkle in a good dose of nightly news, a bit of research, and characters that won't turn you loose, you have a story that's not only fun to read, it was also a complete joy to write.
Story ideas come in all shapes and forms, and from many different places. What works for one book, might produce nothing for the next. A tried-and-true method for your favorite author might leave you staring at a blinking icon on a blank screen. You have to find what works for you, for this moment.
Writing and reading are mysterious that way. When you pick up the next novel you've been waiting to start, or flip on your e-reader, kind of makes you wonder though. Where DID that idea come from?