Where do you get your ideas?
This is the question writers get asked the most. At least, I do.
Everywhere, is my answer. Anywhere.
My new book The Sleeping Season (coming spring 2020) developed from a story, into a book, into a detective series.
My protagonist is DI Harriet Sloane.
Harry, to her friends, works in East Belfast.
She is the character I know the best out of all my imaginary friends. I’ve known Harry for years now. Almost 6, in fact!
Where did I get the idea to tell her story?
It was a mixture of a few things, it usually is: going to crime fiction panels at Trinity College and Aspects, attending a creative writing class with Caroline Healy in Arts Arts (which feels like a lifetime ago).
Caroline set us an exercise about ethics in writing, being accountable for what you write. She may have been talking about non-fiction, but I started to envisage this fictional family of five grownup children all with their own individual set of ethics: one is a carer, one a minister, one battling drug addiction, one a social worker, and the other (who developed into Harriet) is a detective with a lot going on.
In November 2013 during Nanowrimo (yes, I’m talking about that again) I wrote the first draft of The Bones of It in three weeks. With a week left, a friend joked: Start something else. So I wrote a short story about the Sloanes, or the Knights, as they were then called. But some stories refuse to let go and Harriet got her own spin-off.
The first book will be released in 6 months. I imagine it will be nice to be able to give a bit of notice with this one. I’ve been told it’s strong and poetic. You can make up your own mind.
Book 3 in the Harriet Sloane series is underway, along with a few other projects (more crime, lit fic, stories, poems…ideas are stirring for book 4).
Hopefully the following instalments will be released one a year – that’s the plan at the mo.
I might write fast (and edit ridiculously slow) but the business of publishing is far from fast-paced.
Writers, tell me, where do you get your ideas?
(All lovely images are royalty-free from Unsplash btw – thank you!)