I get asked so frequently where ideas come from, and I really don’t have a good answer. Sometimes I can say oh that picture from the newspaper inspired that hero. Or that song helped make that scene. But most of the time it’s more random and harder to pin down. Ideas often drift around my subconscious for months before coalescing into something useable.
There have been times where I have actively gone looking for an idea. Lunar Exposure was one of those stories. I wanted to write something for the Ellora’s Cave ‘on the hunt’ theme. Bounty hunters…mmm so many possibilities. I’d been wanting to write a sci-fi story for a while. I’d built the manmade moon in my mind months before, knew who the AI host was—but I had no story. However dropping a bounty hunter into a pleasure resort, taking away his weapons and giving him a time limit until it blows…now that seemed like fun :).
Lunar Exposure was a case of two ideas coming together perfectly…where the pleasure resort came from I’m not sure. Maybe my love of Farscape and Doctor Who, throw in a little Cirque du Soliel and there was definitely a picture that inspired the AI host.
Ruby’s Ghost on the other hand sprung to life after hearing my niece talking about the ghost of a motorcyclist that was haunting her room. While my niece was only little, it wasn’t a big jump for me to add some romance and give the ‘ghost’ a happy ending.
The ideas that get incorporated into my stories, the things that help build the worlds come from things I read or courses I’ve done. I have a library of occult books on everything from dragons to monster to spells. Add in the mythology and books on war and psychology and medieval castles, and I have a bank of knowledge to draw from. I love doing courses and learning new thing as even if I don’t have any plans to use the subject matter in a story right now, in the future that information is there for me to draw on.
I never stop researching—even if I have no idea how I’m going to use it. Maybe that is where my inspiration comes from, a love of learning.