Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sparking the Imagination

Do you ever wonder where authors get the ideas for the stories they create? Sometimes conversations can spark an idea. Sometimes it's a dream, or even a news story. Inspiration can strike anywhere.

Here's the cover to my August release. Amish Country Ambush is the fourth book in my Amish Country Justice series. When I was first plotting the proposal for this book, I hit a stumbling block. I knew that I wanted the hero to be Sergeant Ryan Parker, who was introduced in Plain Retribution. I knew some of his backstory. I just couldn't wrap my mind around what his book would be about.

In June, my friend and fellow author, Katy Lee, was coming to Pennsylvania. She suggested that we tour New Wilmington, the third largest Amish community in the United States. Why not?

It was great fun. We visited shops, saw houses, and took lots of pictures of the majestic scenery. I loved the tan covered buggies, too. I had never seen any like them before. Our guide informed us that these particular buggies are only found in New Wilmington. We were fascinated by the tidbits we were learning.

And then we saw this bridge. The Banks Covered Bridge. It's gorgeous. Cars continued to stop and take pictures. We were puzzled until our guide told us that this bridge was featured in an episode of The West Wing when it was popular. People come to take pictures of it all the time.

And there it was. I could hear a woman asking Ryan, "What are they doing?"

In my mind, I could picture the scene. Immediately, the questions started. Why were they there? What was the danger? Who was this woman and how did Ryan meet her?

By the end of the week, I had my story line.

And of course, I have a scene in the book with that bridge. I was thrilled when I saw the cover. It was perfect. 

I can't wait to share this story with you! I would be interested in learning about the places you have gone that have sparked your imagination or stayed with you.

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