I often find that inspiration for a new story strikes when I least expect it, for example when I'm driving and I see an unusual name on a road sign or a map - a name which is almost a story in itself, or when I am sitting in a café or a restaurant and overhear a few words of people's conversation, or even just when I'm having a walk alone around the reservoir near where I live...In the past I have also found ideas in poems and songs, in a piece of classical music or a painting, in a dream even!
Places are a great source of inspiration too, but it's not always the obvious that can be inspiring. I recently visited Bordeaux in the South West of France. It's a beautiful town, with quaint old buildings, narrow cobbled streets and tiny squares with picturesque cafés.
I knew straight away I had found something very special but I didn't quite know what exactly until tonight when I was chatting about Bordeaux with my daughter. She said something about that poor old boat, left to rust along the quays. We started talking about who it could belong to, why it was empty...and suddenly an almost fully formed plot and cast of characters emerged in my mind. I hurried to jolt everything down, and a few minutes later, I even had the opening sentences of the novel and the title too!
Now I am so excited I can't wait to get started on this new story - it's just like going on a new adventure. I do however have another romance novel to finish first.
What about you?
How do you get your inspiration for a story, and what was the most unusual way you found ideas for a novel? I'd love to hear from you.