Where Do You Get Your Ideas for Stories?
When I was writing Waiting with Elmer, I pulled scenes from my childhood memories of my grandparents' rooming house and the characters who were their "roomers." I didn't write in intentionally. I was surprised when I read it!
I'll be doing research at St Simons LIghthouse in a few weeks. It's possible that some of the stories in Stayin' Put about growing up on the Albemarle Sound will provide some background. For instance, I just read that you can hear crabs moving in the grass at low tide. I didn't know that, but I'll bet my characters who lived in the lighthouse at St Simons did know that.
Research for a writer can be deliberate or accidental. If it's interesting, mysterious, humorous or dramatic enough to grab an author's attention and nestle into the brain, it's a sure bet that sometime it will resurface and come to life on a page of a book about a totally different subject. And no one will be more astonished than the author.
This current trip to Edenton is a business trip but just as all trips, it adds to my mental file of places and imagination that color my characters' world.
Sometimes I'm asked, "Don't you ever run out of ideas?" How could I when I've not seen everything yet?