Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest Blog with author Conda V. Douglas




Where do writers get their ideas?

Writers are often asked this question. We tend to roll our eyes, but I believe that’s a mistake. It’s a good question. Where oh where do we get our ideas? How do we pull them out of … what? The ether? What’s an ether? That’s part of the reason writers are frustrated with the question. Much of the time we don’t know the answer to where we get our ideas. It’s a mystery to us too.

But not always. In my newly-released ‘tween fantasy The Mall Fairies: Exile I know exactly where the idea came from: sparrows. Yes, you read right, those plain little birds led to an entire trilogy about fairies living in the attic of a shopping mall. It may seem like a long flight, but was the briefest of fluttering wings.

Early one week day, I was shopping in my state’s biggest shopping mall, the Boise Towne Square Mall, when I heard an odd peeping and fluttering noise, high above. I looked up to see tiny birds flying close to the windows and ceilings. If the mall hadn’t been mostly empty, I never would have heard them. I watched them flitting around their nests on the very high ledges of the mall’s two-story windows. Now, I’m quite nearsighted, sigh, and so all I saw was little winged bodies. A thought popped into my mind: Those birds look like fairies. What if they were fairies? And I’m off! All sorts of questions followed that one idea: What would it be like for the fairies living in the mall? Would it be easy? Hard? What if… Some of my answers are found in the first of my trilogy The Mall Fairies: Exile.

It’s possible that this is always the process where writers get their ideas. But that for most of our ideas it’s more complicated than mall + sparrows=fairies. Tidbits percolate in the back of our minds (and sometimes my tidbits rot, eww) before becoming a conscious idea.

I’d love to hear from other writers about where they get their ideas from?

And Aubrie, thank you so much for having me here on your blog!

You're welcome, Conda!


Here's Conda's great blog.

And here's her author page.




Conda discovered at age 10 that she was born to write. Published since she was 12, Conda grew up in a tiny mountain town in Idaho, in her folk’s funky art gallery. The inspiration for her Mall Fairies came from the swallows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall. She’s traveled the world and her own tiny office, writing all the while. When not rescuing fairies from humans, cats, and themselves, Conda works on the next title in the Mall Fairy Trilogy.

282 comments:

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Bethany Myers said...

Great post. All of my ideas come from the Island of Misfit Toys.

Bethany Myers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conda V. Douglas said...

Bethany, I love that idea, as I've always loved those toys.

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful post. I love where you got your idea. I've noticed little birds inside big stores before. Fun to imagine them as fairies. I get most of my ideas from dreams. I'm a vivid dreamer and I remember them every morning.

Pat McDermott said...

Good question. I often get ideas from news headlines. I can build entire scenarios about how my characters would react to meeting celebrities or deal with international crises. Wishing your mall fairies the best!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Thanks Christine. I see the sparrows in Costco all the time. And, like you, I get ideas from dreams too. I wonder if that's common with writers?

Conda V. Douglas said...

Thanks Pat, for the well wishes! And I sometimes get ideas from headlines too, although not as often as other ways.

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