Where do my ideas come from? It’s a question I’ve been asked more than once. The truth is, it’s like asking, ‘How does gravity work?’ Who the hell knows.
As a writer, I can say that my ideas—some of the best of them—come to me when I least expect it. Almost without fail, they strike when I’m not writing. And that’s often when I’m outdoors making photographs. In other words, the Idea Train is running in the background, when suddenly, the horn blows, the smoke clears, and wham, there it is: The Idea.
To wit: At the time I was trying to come up with a book cover for The Dark—I create my own book covers, as well as for other authors—I was out with my camera in a graveyard. It was getting close to sunset, and the sky was awash in red. It was as if the sky was filled with blood, even on fire. I made a dramatic image using three simple elements: the fiery sky, the glowing sun, and a silhouette of a scraggly, menacing tree. And at that moment, it inspired the eventual cover for The Dark. Spoiler: brimming with hellfire, the story’s darkness and evil surround a mysterious and frightening oak.
So, how does gravity work, anyway? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’m just glad it keeps the pepperoni on my pizza … and that the Idea Train keeps rolling.
Where do you get your best ideas? Drop me a line in the comment section below.
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