by Jennifer AlLee
"Where do you get your ideas?"
I don't think there's a fiction writer out there who hasn't been asked that question. And for the most part, we like answering it because, let's face it, we love sharing what we do. Every writer is different, but I can tell you that most of my novels have started out with a tiny little seed of an idea.
One day, I was watching an episode of Chopped on the Food Network. One of the contestants talked about how she'd been given up for adoption, and she hoped her birthmother would see her compete on the show and be proud of her. That sparked an idea: a woman meeting the daughter she gave up for adoption when they compete together in a reality show. From there, the story grew and morphed until it turned into Last Family Standing (from Abingdon Press, 9/14).
I have another book coming out with Abingdon in 2015, Vinnie's Diner. The genesis of that novel was from having made many trips back and forth between California and Nevada. It started out as a short story about a woman running from her mid-life crisis and finding a weird diner out in the desert. I started that story in 1997. It moved from a short story to a novel. The age and motivation of the main character changed, it took on a very Twilight Zone quality, and it became one of the most personal things I've ever written.
Creating is a fabulous, frustrating, fulfilling thing. To me, the surprises are the best part. And believe me, there are more surprises than you'd think!
What about you? If you're a writer, what's the most unique way you've gotten a story idea?
JENNIFER ALLEE was born in Hollywood, California, and spent her first ten years living above a mortuary one block away from the famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine. Now she lives in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, which just goes to prove she’s been blessed with a unique life. When she’s not busy spinning tales, she enjoys playing games with friends, attending live theater and movies, and singing at the top of her lungs to whatever happens to be playing on the car radio. Although she’s thrilled to be living out her lifelong dream of being a novelist, she considers raising her son to be her greatest creative accomplishment. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Her novels include The Pastor’s Wife, The Mother Road and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas from Abingdon Press; Diamond in the Rough and Vanishing Act, the first two books in the Charm and Deceit series, from Whitaker House and co-written with Lisa Karon Richardson; and the novella Comfort and Joy in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories from Barbour.