Many people want to write a novel but have a problem coming up with ideas.
Discovering what the “perfect” subject matter should be is one of the most difficult things about being an author. How do you know what topic others will want to read about? How can you be sure the concept will hold YOUR interest, as a writer? How will you know if the subject matter, once in book form, will sell? All good questions that, unfortunately, don’t have a definitive answer.
The best I can do is tell you how I came upon the idea for “One Last Lie”. The story (in summary form) goes something like this…
“Can I have your sperm, please?”
Three years ago this question came out of my best friend’s mouth – a woman I’d known for many years and had never asked for anything more than a sip of my Caramel Machiatto. She talked about her motherly instincts and the ticking of her “biological clock”. It seemed she had given it a lot of thought, talked with many people and was now ready to proceed. Apparently, I was the last to know.
I was stunned, speechless and quite flattered. I stuttered, grabbed her hand and asked for a few days to think about it.
Coincidentally, I was having lunch with my lawyer the next day and I brought up my friend’s question – which was now my current problem.
She dropped her fork. “Absolutely not!” she snapped.
“Why not?” I snapped back.
“The law is too unclear. Even if she says now that she doesn’t want money or support, she might change her mind. What if she’s really a nut and her pregnancy hormones put her over the edge? Seriously, what if she’s unstable?”
“She’s not,” I said adamantly.
“But what if she is?” she insisted.
“She’s not,” I insisted back.
“But what if…”
And that was the origin of my best book so far – “One Last Lie” – a novel that has made people mad, sad, happy and most importantly, it has made them think.
So, I guess this proves that one of the answers to finding a great idea for a book comes simply from living life – taking your every day experiences or casual conversations and adding a “twist”. The thing is this: if you’re going through an experience or talking with a friend about something, it’s likely that millions of others are going through the same thing or talking about the same topic. And honestly, who doesn’t like to read about themselves?