What do the following have in common?
A rustic stone church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Mt. Etna, the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, the old merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs, the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle, and the Palantine Chapel in Palermo.
All of these are sources of inspiration for my next novel, the sequel to The Children of Darkness.
I’ve always believed that the difference between the creative and non-creative person is not the ability to come up with new ideas, but rather being open to them when they present themselves. That’s why it’s so important to write regularly. When I’m writing every day, I live in two worlds, the world of my evolving story and the real world. As a result, when I see something that strikes me, my mind makes connections. The images I see morph into scenes in my story. What would the mood of the setting be like? How would my characters experience it? In what way would the experience alter their actions and therefore change the plot.
Out comes my smart phone. A few pictures, some hastily entered notes. Then, when I get home, I rough out a new scene. Does it always fit in? Of course not. But it gets the creative juices flowing.
When I reread a copy of a soon-to-be-submitted novel for the final time, I always wonder how it all had come to pass. But I know this: if I’m open to new ideas and follow the threads, one thing leads to another. And a couple of years later, after much blood, sweat and tears, voila–instant novel.