I'm always fascinated of how a story comes about, where the idea originated. We were watching the special features for Gilmore Girls, last evening and the writer mentioned on their travels they stopped in a town in CT and that was the crystallization for the TV series.
Sometimes, I'd rather read about writing the book, the research, the inspiration than the actual story. Some of my favorites were Eugenia Price and how she lived on St. Simmons Island, interviewing the descendants of her characters, exploring the locales, breathing the air. Laura Ingalls Wilder was prompted by her daughter. It has been said, Rose did most of the writing, but I don't believe it. I also read Rose's writings and she didn't have the charm of Laura. Laura wrote for years, before the Little House books. Her inspiration was the life she lived.
I remember in 6th grade after seeing the movie Cabaret, I incorporated the scene with the dead dog into a story I wrote for English. We had started reading about the Nazis and the assignment was to write our own. I had been sheltered from the atrocities until then and killing a dog and placing on the front porch seemed about as horrible as you could get. Life was more innocent then, at least for me.
The stories I'm writing now came from the seed of wondering about how the house I grew up in was different than many houses. I started seeing more houses with the gables and gingerbread in Trumbull Co. where I drive many miles with my job as a home health nurse. Andrew Jackson Downing had a whole philosophy about architecture in the 1840s and many of the houses in his books resembled the homes I was seeing. First, I thought I could write about the builders, the first owners, but then another story came to me. I felt drawn to the beginning of the 20th century and since I knew my house, I set it there, with some rumors I heard when growing up. I enjoyed how it unfolded. I love the research, wish I had more time for that.
Oh, yes Mr. Lyon, I am middle age, because I plan to live at least till 100!