As writers, we are always on the search for the next new idea.
As a reader, I know that I want more books from my favorite authors. So I thought you might enjoy seeing the timeline to the creation of a book. I’m going to use Shadowed by Grace because it’s a pretty typical process though a bit longer than some.
Shadowed by Grace is a story set in Italy with the Monuments Men during World War II. I discovered this story when I was at the library with my kiddos. If you have kids, you know that often you don’t get the opportunity to look at adult books. Instead, you’re stuck in the children’s section. At our library there is a set of bookshelves where they display the new non-fiction. On this particular day in July 2010, I was zipping past the section when a cover out book caught my attention. At the time I only had to notice the photo was of a soldier that was clearly from WWII but he was holding a painting in the midst of ruins.
That photo was enough to capture my attention.
As I read Monuments Men, ideas sparked. The idea that this small group of men was tasked with saving Western Civilization was heroic and gripping. It was the perfect backdrop for a novel. Add in Italy and it was perfect.
Shadowed by Grace was born.
Every author you talked to would have a series of stories about how the ideas behind their novels were sparked. Ideas come from so many different places.
Maybe it’s a book that sparks the idea. Or a song. A what if? A newspaper article. A conversation. A Bible verse. A sermon.
Each of those and so many more can generate that thought, that moment, that character that launches a story.
Then the characters come to life and the fun begins. We twist a thought and add a road bump. Slowly a story emerges. Intelligence combined with creativity means fun occurs.
Does Einstein have it right? Have you seen this in your life?