My novel When Stars Die came out of a bleak period in my life when I was fourteen and really struggling to manage my anxiety because the ridiculous pressures of school (and they are still ridiculous to my 22-year-old mind) made me break. I didn’t feel like I was ever going to get better and I wondered if I would have to struggle with anxiety forever. Granted, When Stars Die was a lot different than it is now, but the story and the character came out of the turmoil in my mind, and it has stuck with me since because the story came from my emotions, my feelings. I love that such a strong story came from all that, but I hate it at the same time because every book I wrote since then just paled into comparison with WSD. I felt like I couldn’t come up with anything strong without outside advice.
In fact, the direction the sequel went wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Georgia McBride. And her criticism helped me shape the prequel, When Stars Die.
In any case, Stolentime emerged from my bipolar depression. The story involves a suicidal teen who tries to drown himself, only to be saved by an eccentric man. This eccentric man is a puppeteer and doll maker and decides it’s in Gene’s best interest to bring him along a tour that teaches Gene to live even in the darkness. I know this story can rival my Stars trilogy, but the problem is that it took more inner turmoil for me to think of such a powerful idea.
Then I read a post today that mentioned that aspiring authors who happen to be kids don’t care about their ideas trying to rival one another. They just write with abandon. I’m hoping that when the Stars trilogy is through and Stolentime is done (it might be part of a series though) that it doesn’t take a bad time for me to come up with more stellar ideas that I am passionate writing about. I just need to drown in my emotions and take their reigns and ride.
Stars, where do your best story ideas come from?