For those who don't know it yet, I've written the first two (soon to be 3) books in a new series for young kids called Animal Quest. The books are about two intrepid children, a brother and sister, who follow a wise old owl named Professor Feathers around the world to retrieve their lost stuffed animals. The "stuffies" have come to life as the result of a wish that the girl, Olivia, makes one night when she sees a shooting star. The books have been a blast to write, and wouldn't you know it--my own two kids are the stars!
Inspiration for writing can come from anywhere, even family. You needn't quit your job or school to travel the world and look for ideas--just keep your eyes and ears open to the world around you. Every corner of the planet, even the mundane places like the grocery store that you've been to a million times, is a treasure trove of ideas waiting to be discovered. Sometimes (usually) it's how you look at things. That old junk down in your basement? Poke around in it again, and I guarantee you'll find something curiously interesting. Find an old love letter from a high school sweetheart stuck between two records you'd forgotten all about? Maybe he or she time traveled from the future to put it there! Why? What could the future hold for you? The beginning of a plot line can develop (at least for me!) when you have this combination: an intriguing moment (a discovered lost letter); a compelling character (an old love interest); and a fascinating premise (time travel).
Animal Quest evolved the same way for me. I took the concept of a magical wish coming true, mixed it with a brother and sister who would do anything for each other and their loved ones (including sentient stuffed animals), and threw in exotic locations around the world. Voila! If you have kids who love fantasy and adventure stories, check out my new series Animal Quest. Let me know what you think! I love to hear from my readers.