This is a question that writers get a lot, right up there with “Where do you get your ideas from?”
Both questions have the same answer: I write because I think of new stories all the time.
The ideas just come to me.
What’s going on in the world around me sparks many stories, but it seems my subconscious twists reality and often forges new ideas on its. own.
One morning, while I was lying in bed awake after the false nuclear scare in Ontario, a story came to me. It’s about a fighter pilot with the nickname “Sapphire,” which is an oddly feminine nickname. Sapphire, himself, is not bothered by that, although others are. In the story, there is another person, not a pilot or even a military person, who is obesessed with Sapphire. However, the pilot is not. aware of this obsession, and only gradually becomes aware of being stalked.
It’s only the beginning of a novel, of course. But the point is, this story came to me from … Well, I guess, my dreams.
There are so many other stories swirling in my mind. Stories I haven’t written down solely for lack of time.
RIght now, the story I am working on is a sequel to my first-published novel, The Bones of the Earth. I have come up with the title The Triumph of the Sky (you can work out the opposition forces from those clues.) But concentrating on that requires that I put these other stories on hold, at least until I finish Triumph.
These are stories like:
- Dead Man Lying — the revised, extended edition of the novella I published four years ago. Set in Hawai’i, it’s about the mysterious death of an aging rock star, and the conflicting stories he told his family.
- A near-future dystopian story about life following a two-degree global warming, in which because of financial pressures, the U.S. has fractured and China is the sole superpower in the world.
- Dark Clouds — extending the short story I published six years ago, combining urban occult fantasy and spy thriller
- Echoes, the working title of a crime story based on two favourite songs from my teen years
- The Travelling Cat, a humorous story about a cat who sneaks onto an airplane and learns the truth about airline food and other atrocities
- Wine Country Mystery #2, the follow-up to Wildfire. In this one, I want to write about a migrant worker in California, falsely accused of a crime.
- The Doctor’s In-Laws (working title), essentially a story about not keeping up with the Joneses.
- A magical realistic story set in Prague, about a Canadian woman who discovers hidden strengths.
- How to Drive Your Wife Insane—sort of a reverse how-to book. I’m still working on the research.
- The Last Tiger, a middle-grade book about two brothers in the Russian Far East.
- The Outsiders — okay, I realize the title has been taken, but this is about people who want to make an impact on their society, but face the obstacle of not being part of the accepted club.
- Lightning Strikes — 30 years ago, I wrote a novella that I never published and in fact showed only to one other person. It see it as the first part in a novel about a man forced into a life of crime by a corrupt corporation.
There are more, as well, but I won’t belabour the point.
Which is this: I write because there are stories that have to be told.
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