Where Ideas Come From

One of the questions most commonly asked during my school presentations is: “where do you get your ideas?”

The answer is different for every book.

Some are easy. When Annick asked me to write a title in the True Stories from the Edge series, I asked Min what boys would want to read. He chose fires. And so, I wrote True Stories from the Edge: Fires!

I wrote The Blue Jean Book because my publisher called and she was so convinced that a book about blue jeans must be written, I agreed. Right there and then, on the phone. Somehow forgetting that I was really quite pregnant, and newborns and book editing don’t necessarily work well together.

Other idea origins are harder to pinpoint. I knew that somewhere between phone call one, when Annick asked for a middle-grade book about fire facts, and phone call two, when we disused concepts, I had arrived at the 50 Questions format.

What made me decide on 50 silly questions, with semi-serious answers?

This week, I decided it must have been my work environment. Because here are just a few of the questions my son has asked in the past seven days:

  • Are vampires real?
  • If God breathed on Adam to bring him to life, does He breathe on babies, too?
  • Why can’t you eat ear wax?
  • Wouldn’t it be good if we could all stay in the air like astronauts?
  • Have you ever eaten guts?

I’ve decided that it’s no surprise at all that my books ended up in question-and-answer format. The only surprise is that the questions aren’t even more wacky.