Anyway. So the Good Witch’s mother is in town, visiting, and I made the mistake of stopping by on Tuesday. Mom – a/k/a, the Bad Witch – has let it slip (more than once) that she doesn’t read my writing, has never seen my website (although she loves the All About the Real Housewives site but I go there, too, so I can’t act all snooty), and is generally unimpressed with my Authorial presence. So I was surprised when she asked, “So where do you get your ideas?”
I hesitated before answering. Not because I couldn’t answer, only because the Bad Witch was the one asking. While I was puzzling over my response, she said, “Hasn’t anyone asked you before?”
She smirked. She does that more often than she thinks, and it’s not a lovable habit. Then she said, “But I thought real authors were asked that question all of the time.”
“I thought so, too,” I said, forcing a smile. “And wouldn’t you like to know where Stephen King gets his ideas?” Then G.W. entered the room and her mother decided to play nice. I went home, fuming at the Bad Witch and wondering where Stephen King got his ideas.
So I Googled it and King's official website gave me the answer: “I get them from everywhere.” (Oh, he said more than that – go to his site for the full scoop – but it just wasn’t as Stephen King-interesting as I expected.)
Neil Gaiman says he used to give not-so-funny answers but, now, he just says he makes stuff up. (If you go here, you’ll see the not-so-funny answers he used to give.)
I couldn’t find the “Where do you get your ideas from?” question for Nora Roberts -- I’m sure it’s in the electronic void somewhere, if only Google hadn’t played hard to get -- but I lost a good half hour reading the other things she said. She’s an interesting interview, that Nora R.
Then I thought, what if it’s not a Google glitch? What if no one has ever asked N.R. where she gets her ideas? It’s unlikely considering the length and success of her career, but what if it never actually happened? I know what I prefer to believe. That being the case, if B.W. ever asks again, I’ll tell her, “Nora Roberts and me, we don’t divulge such things.”
(Oh, I can't keep a secret from you. Not you. It’s elves. Lightly-freckled elves from Blucksberg Mountain, South Dakota. For a small quarterly payment, they bring me the different ideas I use. But don't tell Nora. Let her think I come up with the stories on my own.)