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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Idea Fairy


I always love the question we writers get asked by almost everyone. “Where do you get your ideas?” Honestly I’ve never been able to come up with a single rational answer to that. Life. Imagination. Bits of overheard conversation from a restaurant crossed with a commercial for cat food. Add in a couple really weird elements from a dream and a little bit of revenge for a movie that ended just the wrong way. What I want to say sometimes is, “The Idea Fairy leaves them under my pillow every night,” because there’s really just no good answer. Ideas just…happen. Maybe the best response I’ve ever read was from the late, great Douglas Adams who said something along the lines of, “All I can suggest to would-be writers is to drink lots of coffee and to buy a desk that can withstand having your head banged on it.”  I don’t drink coffee, but substitute Diet Coke, and there you have me.

Some writers get ideas from dreams. Been there done that. They’re usually just too surreal to write down, but bits and pieces of my dreams go into bits and pieces of my books.  Ideas from real life. Yeah, those happen too. I know a lot of geeks. I’ve written geek books. Although if there’s really a dragon in the steam tunnels below the campus where I went to school, I’m not admitting it. But wouldn’t it be cool if there was?

That would be where most of my ideas come from. Random snatches of reality and fantasy blended together into “Wouldn’t it be cool…” moments. If any of you remember the old “Gargoyles” cartoon, you might have thought, “He’s kinda hot. Wouldn’t it be cool if he was the hero of a romance?” I sure did. And lo and behold, I have a series about gargoyles—really hot gargoyles.

I was honestly told as a child that I had too vivid an imagination. Now I’m pretty sure that’s an asset, but as a kid it wasn’t always. It took me a long time to discover that what I had wasn’t a curse, but a gift, and that I was bloody well supposed to DO something with it. So here I am. Can there be any greater job than just getting to make stuff up? Not to me. And so whether the ideas come from dreams or snatches of overheard conversations in the shopping mall, or from banging my head on my kitchen table (I don’t really have a desk) all I know is I hope they keep coming. And the weirder the better.

And just for fun, here’s a blurb for Motor City Mage, my latest release from Carina Press. Feel free to click on the links below and come play inside my imagination for a while.

About the Book:

Motor City Mage
Urban Arcana #4
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available Now from Carina Press

As a cop who keeps paranormals in line, Des has a hard time trusting them. So why does he want the beautiful werewolf Lana more than his next breath? She's mouthy, flamboyant and distractingly sexy—not the type of woman for a reserved mage like him. Lana admires Des, but she can't be with someone who won't take her seriously, no matter how much she'd love to rip off his dress shirt.

When a dangerous new drug shows up in Detroit, Des must locate the source, and Lana is determined to help. But their plan goes awry, trapping them in a demon dimension. To return home, Lana and Des must flee through a series of unpredictable alternate realities, fighting enemies while trying to shut down the drug trade. But if they're going to survive, they'll have to rely on each other, even though getting closer will add fuel to a fire that's already burning out of control...

About the Author:

Cindy Spencer Pape is an avid reader of romance, fantasy, mystery, and even more romance who firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty years to her own, sometimes-kilted hero, she lives in southern Michigan with him and two teenage sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets.  Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the three male humans who share her household.

7 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Inspiration hits me at the oddest times: The characters from my 1st Kenzie book began fighting in my head as I stood at the stove, cooking dinner. My second was spawned from a news blurb and my hero tapping my brain ala 'That's me! Write my story!' I happened to be driving at the time.

Other storylines pop into my head while in the shower; in that semi-conscious state before you fully wake up; or from seeing a good looking man and thinking 'What if?'

And others come from sheer boredom and I start writing. Sometimes it pans out; other times it languishes in a notebook until I need an idea.

jean hart stewart said...

With you all the way. I never know how to answer the question of how I get ideas. Getting them is not the problem. Getting them down the right way, sometimes is. Being a writer has got to be the most fulfilling job there is.

Katalina Leon said...

Cindy, I think you have some pretty amazing ideas!
XXOO Kat

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Kat. Molly, and Jean, I absolutely hear you. I love it when you're out doing something mundane--say picking up dog food or trash bags, and suddenly a totally unrelated lightbulb goes off. You want to tell whomever you're with, but then everyone in the place is going to know you're nuts.

Liz said...

fun post Cindy and congrats on the new release.

I

Paris said...

Great blog post, Cindy. I've already got the coffee part down pat so now I just have to find the desk that will be able to withstand my hard head:) Best of luck with the new Motor City book. I've loved them all!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Liz and Paris!

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