Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fiction and the Insomniac

“Where do your ideas for novels come from?” This is the question I have been asked most often since my debut novel, Highland Solution, was released in September. The short answer is insomnia. For as long as I can remember, literally going back to early childhood, I have had trouble falling asleep. When I was little, I loved fairytales, so when I couldn’t fall asleep, I imagined my own, in which I always starred as the princess.

As I grew older, the setting of the stories changed a bit, depending on whatever book, television show or movie caught my interest. I remember many of my internal bedtime stories in the late sixties revolving around the television series, Here Come the Brides. Bobby Sherman was my Justin Bieber. Sigh. I was always able to drift off to sleep with my romantic, fairytale-like musings.

When I began reading romance novels as a teenager I was instantly hooked. They not only fed my love of beautiful, sometimes beleaguered, heroines who found their “happily ever after” they provided new challenges and settings for my imagination. As I grew older, my musings evolved from simply being the heroine to changing the plots and creating new characters.

Now all of those imaginings have become fodder for my novels. I still use those quiet moments before I go to sleep. I play out scenes and work through other details that have become troublesome in some way. I also still imagine completely new stories and characters. Looking back now, I realize that the little game I played to help myself fall asleep is probably the best exercise possible for an active imagination.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

As long as the ruminations work on you and not your readers, you've got it knocked.

Liz Fountain said...

I told myself science fiction and fantasy stories, always with me overcoming the dark side, when I couldn't fall asleep. Which was always!


Big Mike said...

I'd say half my stories come from dreams. Weird, huh?

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Olga Godim said...

My imagination too is often powered by books I read or movies I see. I often think: what if... What if it happened not in the here and now but in a fantasy land, with magic. So of course most of my stories belong to the fantasy genre.