This is one of the most common questions I get as an author, and the answer is pretty simple: most authors, myself included, write about what they know. So the first place I go when I’m seeking inspiration is my memory: Where have I gone? Who have I known? What have I experienced? Seen? Done? The answers to those questions were what helped to develop the content, characters, and story arc in “Chasing the Show.”
One of the big topics of the book is baseball. It’s not a baseball book, per se, though the sport provides the setting for much of what happens in the story. No surprise here: I happen to know quite a bit about baseball, in fact I love it! That knowledge helped to make the baseball scenes come alive. One reviewer wrote, “The level of information about baseball shows that the author has experience in it or did quality research. Either way, it portrayed the book in a brilliant light.”
I know what you’re thinking: If most authors write about what they know, how in the world did J.K. Rowling write about witchcraft and wizards in the Harry Potter series? I personally worry about authors who write zombie romance books. Well, sometimes authors take what they know and add a healthy dose of imagination to it. Often, authors research topics in order to learn more about them – then, in their writing, they can share and explain what they’ve learned in a way that moves the story forward without being confusing. And they can add their own creative ideas to make the characters, settings, and events really memorable.
If you asked me that original question, “Where did you get the idea for this book,” because you’re wondering where to get an idea to write about, here’s my advice: start with your own memory, your interests, your hobbies. I’ll bet there’s a story in there, just waiting for you to write it.