I’m honored to be partnering with Avon books to bring you this guest post on The Search for Ideas from Jamie Raven, author of The Rebel. So without further ado…
As an author one of the questions I’m most often asked is: Where do you get your ideas from?
There’s no stock answer, of course. Ideas come from a wide range of sources.
I pick up most of mine from newspapers and magazines. These are full of intriguing news stories and features that can trigger ideas for novels.
This as how my latest book, The Rebel, began its life. I spotted an interesting item while reading a Sunday paper. It was about a prominent journalist who had been assassinated in Mexico. He was the latest victim of one of the ruthless drug cartels that operate in that country.
The poor man was gunned down in the street by someone who rode past him on a motorcycle. It prompted me to do some research into the hired killers who work for the cartels.
I was surprised at the amount of information that’s available on the internet – and shocked at how many gang-related murders actually take place every year in Mexico.
Before long I was imagining what might happen if one of those contract killers came to London to do a job for one of the gangs operating in the capital.
From there I started to develop a storyline that featured an assassin from Mexico. And she’s now one of the characters in The Rebel.
The same thing happened with my last book, The Mother. I read about the tragic case of a woman whose child was abducted. It was a very upsetting story and for days I couldn’t stop thinking about it. At the same time I felt the need to find out more about the case and others like it.
Inevitably an idea formed and soon I was developing a plot which eventually led to publication of The Mother.
The storyline in one of my other books, The Madam, was also inspired by something I read in a tabloid newspaper. This one was about a woman who had been the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice. She was wrongly convicted of a crime and spent several years in prison before getting out.
The story gave birth to the germ of an idea and within hours I was mapping out an outline for the story. Within a couple of days I’d developed a detailed synopsis complete with characters. In my story the woman wrongly imprisoned is a prostitute named Lizzie Wells and on her release she sets about seeking revenge against those who framed her. That book, I’m glad to say, became an Amazon best seller.
I know that fewer people are reading newspapers and magazines these days, preferring instead to get their information from online sites and television. But for me the printed word will always be my main source of inspiration. And it’s not only because I believe the coverage to be far more detailed and extensive than any other source.
It’s also because I can cut out the stories and file them away in my office at home, where they wait for me to decide if they can be turned into a 400 page novel.
I’ve tried placing stuff on computer files but I find it so much easier to have a leisurely read through a newspaper or magazine, and then just sit back as the ideas jump out at me from the pages.
And more often than not that’s exactly what they do.
This guest post is part of the book blog tour for Jamie’s latest book The Rebel. Check out the blurb here:
Then the killings begin.
A new body is turns up every day, and with no leads, Laura knows she has to take action. Her family is innocent and she’ll stop at nothing to protect them.
When someone close to her is hurt, she’ll break every rule in the book to get vengeance.
I’d like to thank Avon – especially Sabah Khan, and Jamie Raven for giving me the opportunity to bring this post to you.