Where I get my story ideas!

I read lately that this is the most common question people ask writers, “Where do you get your ideas?”

To answer, let me give you some background. I write mostly fiction but am also a journalist. Since writing is actually my second career, my early schooling was not focused on writing. So I’ve had to be truly a lifelong learner. (My degrees are in music—I played the oboe—and business).

I feel like I’m constantly finding out new things about publishing. Sometimes I will consider stopping my journalism work. Using my brain in two such different ways is like bringing a split personality to the computer keyboard! In one job, I must get the details, the facts, down correctly. Then for my other job, I’m making everything up, for the most part.

Figuring out who to feature, tracking them down to interview, and meeting deadlines, can be a lot, on the journalism front. But then sometime will happen and I’ll keep at it. Recently, I was assigned a business to write about. It turned out to be an Amish family working and living near one another. They seemed a bit like my cowboy series of novels about the Galloway sons, who are not Amish but believe in faith, family, and community!

In my brief phone interview for Glo magazine of Fort Wayne, Jason Graber reminded me how lucky I am to create families in my novels and also to cover everyday heroes in real life. Sometimes, the two types of writing look fairly similar.

So, where do I get my story ideas? Very often I’ll be inspired by a news story. Sometimes, my imagination is stirred by a story about real people, one that I wrote myself, like the one that follows.

Now, come and meet the Grabers in this mere snippet about them and their business!