People often ask me where I get the ideas for my books. Their question implies I’m creative and that I come up with these ideas all by myself.
Not true. You see, I’m a historical writer, so I like to explore history and find interesting facts about different periods in various places. Not that I bury my head in research books, but sometimes I stumble upon a fascinating tidbit or see an old building that piques my interest.
Then I wonder what it was like to live at that time in that place when certain things happened. That’s when the people (characters) show up in my mind and tell me about it. A story idea takes root in my little brain as I dig into the history and let the characters show me around. I follow them and see what they do, and the details come out when I begin to write the story.
It may sound cliché, but as a Christian, I firmly believe God leads me to each story and reveals to me the lesson the characters will learn once they survive the conflicts, both external and internal. Many times, this belief has been affirmed when I find a detail that I need to make the story work, one I didn’t know existed until I began to write the story. No doubt God put that detail there for me to find.
So, I’m not creative. Actually, I’m more of a literary archaeologist. I dig around in history and discover stories, then I write them. And because I’m not creative, just curious and committed to what God has given me, I have to give Him the credit.
What about you? Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in a different era? Have you ever seen an old mansion and wanted to know who lived there?