Where Do You Get Those Ideas?

Guest Post on JBronder Book Reviews

My sister asks me after diving into one of my novels, “Where do you get these ideas?”

“My mind is a dangerous place to be,” I respond.

“No kidding,” she says. She should know. She grew up with me and observed first-hand the things I was capable of imagining. We didn’t have electronic games then, and there’s only so much monopoly anyone can stand, so we had to make up our own.

Game devising requires story-building skills and a fair amount of persuasive ability, since there were four of us and everyone had to be convinced before we donned costumes, picked up sabers, and went outside to hunt tigers. In case you’re wondering, I was never the helpless princess stuck in a tower waiting to be saved.

Perhaps a part of me got stuck in childhood, where anything can be true, any story can be spun out of sheer air and spoken into the world as if it were real.

Fiction writing is different from lying in only one respect: in the real world we lie to protect ourselves or get something (an advantage, revenge, out of a jam). Story-making is simply for the love of it.

If you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and simply let your mind talk to you, a story will begin to develop. Perhaps that’s all the mystery there is to fiction writing. Those of us who write novels listen to those ancient stories that bubble up from our deep memories of childhood where any game might be as real as it gets.

Certainly, I was influenced. There were all those fairytales we read, over and over out loud to each other. Pretty scary ones, too. I mean, now that we’re all adults here, imagine being abandoned by your parents in a forest when you’re six. You come upon a house made of cakes and candy, are rescued from starvation, and then watch the woman you trusted stuff your brother into a cage to fatten him up.

There’s no telephone to call for the police. You alone must save your brother. There’s an open oven that woman means to push you both into. What other recourse do you have?

Motive, means, opportunity. Nowadays, I would send Detective Sam Lagarde to investigate the murder of that old witch.

To see JBronder’s 5 star review of No Good Deed Left Undone, click here JBronder Book Reviews

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