The other night I had a very vivid nightmare. I was in my bathroom with my husband, while a pack of zombies tried to plow through the door. Thankfully, I had air freshener handy and snatched it up as though it were a rifle. Somehow my air freshener weapon killed off the zombies. I woke with a start, convinced that the zombies were in my house. I told my husband about it the next day and he said, "You should write a book about that!"
Don't worry. I have no intention of writing a novel about zombie-killing air freshener. Though that may work for an MG. Hmmm....no just kidding. But this did get me thinking about how we come up with our ideas.
For TWISTED ROOT, there were two things that brought the idea together. First, my husband is obsessed with the Science channel and watches all of those alien shows. One such show had a theory that struck me as plausible. This was the first seed of an idea.
The second seed came a few weeks later. I was staring into my heavily wooded backyard. It's important to note that in the South you are guaranteed two things in the summer -- sweet tea on a hot day and thunderstorms in the afternoon. This was one of those days. The trees were beginning to move, the leaves dancing around as though they were mini wind chimes. I continued to watch the trees, wondering how bad the storm would get, when something grabbed my attention. For a split second, I could have sworn someone was in the trees, watching me. Of course that wasn't possible. I'm too sane to get freaked out over that sort of thing, but it gave me the second seed I needed to start TWISTED ROOT.
So what about you? How do you come up with ideas? Do you start with a character or a plot in mind?