Last week, one of our movie colleagues from the west coast came into the office for a meeting and, before we began discussing various projects, she mentioned that whenever she is in a new city, she immediately goes to the local news to find out a little more about what is “happening” there. (We actually began by talking about our mayor Bloomberg trying to ban those huge bottles of soda.)
That discussion got me to thinking about ideas and where they come from—in particular the ideas that form the basis of novels. I know that many first time novelists take their ideas from their own lives and experiences and that is totally natural. Our longtime client, Gus Lee based both CHINA BOY and HONOR AND DUTY on his life, for instance. But after that, what happens?
Some, I know, turn nonfiction stories into fiction—we see this especially with television series like Law and Order; some use the events of history as the basis of their novels. Another of our clients, Mary Doria Russell, has based her last novels on Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. And in his new novel, MURDER AS A FINE ART, our bestselling author David Morrell goes back to the 18oos and the works of notorious opium eater Thomas De Quincey to create his story.
And so I thought I would ask you writers who I hope are reading this blog where your ideas come from, your own or other peoples’ lives? I look forward to reading your responses.