We writers are always being asked where we get our ideas from. My answer will be forever more simple. FROM AN ELEPHANT.
This is my advisory elephant. He was given to me for Christmas by my daughter Clare who said, "he is supposed to sit by your computer and give you inspiration when you get stuck in a book."
My other kids picked up on this immediately.
"He'd say 'how about if she was murdered by being sat on by ane elephant?'
How about if an elephnat tailed him through the city?
How about if it was a trunk call?
How about if it's part of a Mammoth Book of mysteries?
Okay they were all silly, but you know, I am finding that he is very wise in his suggestions. Mostly he says 'if it's not working now, go and take a walk. Or go shopping. It will come to you on the way back.' And you know, it does.
I am definitely a seat-of-the-panter when it comes to writing. No outline for me. Not even a story line to follow. I really don't know what is going to happen to my heroine next. I know a little, mostly about the environment she will enter. For example in the new Molly book, HUSH NOW DON'T YOU CRY, I knew that Molly would uncover some dark secret about a family at one of the Newport 'cottages'. I also had an image in my mind of a child's face in a tower window, laughing demonicly in a thunderstorm So I start with that and stumble ahead.
So it's very comforting now to know there is an elephant sitting nearby who will come to my aid. Only one thing wrong--I haven't managed to name him yet. Any suggestions? Actually I've been waiting for him to tell me but he is inclined to be shy.....
What's that ? No, elephant, they are not going to hide the body in a trunk.