I spend an awful lot of my waking hours reading the news, following the discussion on Twitter, and having conversations with my publishing colleagues. Part of this is just a natural curiosity about the world, but part of it is a deliberate attempt to find new book ideas. During a biweekly staff meeting, we all come to the table with ideas that we have and discuss their merits, trying to figure out if some person, topic or new item is, indeed, a book. Mostly we’re thinking about nonfiction. Some of the ideas are clear and ready for a writer, while others may be interesting, but aren’t quite a book. Some need a new twist or spin that we figure out during our discussion, or a small idea may lead to something bigger.
But more interestingly, I think, is when a story prompts an idea for a novel. An author of mine has a book coming out next month that was inspired by an article I read–several times–and became obsessed with. And just today an author of mine tweeted about a story she found that is the perfect inspiration for a novel. I couldn’t agree with her more; the story is mysterious and rich and calls for exploration. I can’t wait to see what she does with it. I have to admit: I have a fondness for “ripped from the headlines” stories, so if you’ve got those, send them my way!
Are there any stories you’d dying to see fictionalized? And as writers, do you draw from the news when dreaming up new ideas?