That metaphor really describes my feelings at this point in time. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have been asked: “How do you write? Where do the ideas come from? Or, how do you come up with that stuff?”
All good questions. But answering them isn’t as simple as others seem to think it should be. So, in order to show-rather than tell the process-let’s jump in the Way Back Machine. I’m setting the dial for the mid 1980’s. Hold onto your hats folks, we’re off.
We’ve landed in the era of big hair. If you look back the road a bit you will see what’s left of the disco era. You just gotta love the Gibbs belting out Staying Alive, and I can see John Travolta strutting his stuff on the dance floor in Saturday Night Fever. Whoa baby!
That sound you hear now is the rumble of a dozen Harley Davidson motorcycles. The bikers are slowing down and looking for a nice place to eat. The strange thing you see, once in a while, are people on the streets backing away or walking quickly in the opposite direction. Why? Because they equate all people who love to ride motorcycles, with gangs. If you look toward the front you will see a 1976 Harley Davidson shovelhead, my husband and I are on that bike. Us and our friends are about as far from being a gang as you can get.
Now…to the Way Back Machine for a trip to 2008. I’m sitting at my desk working on my second book in the Lancer, Inc. Mystery Novel series. I call it, South of the Border, because it takes place in Cancun, Mexico. Not in the bright lights of the tourist district, but the seedy, underdeveloped areas where the ‘real people’ live. Places where no tourist would dare set foot. Instead, they too back away quickly and run in the opposite direction.
As the story unfolds in the recesses of my brain, I’m looking for heroes-someone to ride in on their white horses and save the day. Instead of white horses, my heroes ride in on motorcycles. These men are based on my closest friends-guys who would lay down their lives to help those who need it. Many are also veterans, a breed of their own.
It isn’t easy to explain ‘where these ideas come from’ in a quick conversation at a book signing. It’s a process that is wildly amazing. It probably amazes me, and fellow authors, as much as it does the person asking the question.
It’s like taking a ride on the open road, with the wind in your face and friends at your side. You never know where the road will lead. It really is all about the journey, rather than the destination.