WHERE DO i GET MY IDEAS? by Cheryl Hollon

Where do I get my ideas?

This is the single most popular question for authors and for me is the most difficult to answer. There are two difficulties with this question. First, it feels very personal and second, I’m afraid the source might disappear if I talk about it. Unreasonable, perhaps, but there it is.

Frankly, I'm not sure where they start. I absolutely know when they arrive. My keyboard recognizes the speed and ease of the words that flow onto the page. My ideas for stories cannot be separated from my life as a girl, a woman, a wife, a mother, an engineer and an author. As far as I can tell, everything that has contributed to make me who I am is swirled into a massive reservoir of waiting ideas.

Almost anything will spark the origin for a story. A song – a chat with a friend – a walk in our neighborhood – a great meal – a new vacation spot – a conversation overheard – a perfect location to hide a body. The real difficulty is not coming up with ideas. The trouble is to choose one of those darlings that has the promise to be the beginning of a compelling story.

My biggest challenge is an unreasonable fear that talking about them destroys their arrival and chases them away into the black hole of writer’s block. Consequently, I never talk about a work-in-progress until I have a completed rough draft. At that point, the story is set and I’m not afraid it will evaporate.

Is this really my answer? Yes, this feels right. The short version – my ideas come from my life. To keep the ideas flowing, I must live fully and observe. How fantastic is that?

About Pane and Suffering:

To solve her father's murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed fa├žade. . .

After Savannah's father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs--including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father's trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn't suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it's up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father's apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.
 You can visit Cheryl and her books at

Cheryl  Hollon

Buy links:


Jackie Houchin said…
Thanks for the "ideas" disclosure, Cheryl. I would guard your sources fanatically too! But with a background like yours and the places you've seen and worked, they are probably safe for another, oh, say, twenty-five books!
I've done some hobby-type work in stained glass, and once interviewed a man, a true Old World artisan who earned his apprenticeship restoring ancient glass in England’s Canterbury Cathedral after WW II.
I might pick up your book to check out the mystery as well as the glass part - I hope there are some interesting facts to learn (like in those old Dick Frances mysteries).
Thanks for letting us meet Cheryl and her writing, Marilyn!
GBPool said…
It's always fun to read where other writers get their ideas. We have so many different ones, they can't all fit in our heads, so maybe there is a shelf somewhere where they reside until we can pluck them off and use them. Enjoy using your rather interesting collection of ideas.
Thank you, Jackie and GB for commenting. Not sure where Cheryl is, but I liked her post too.
Cheryl said…
Hi All! Sorry for the late check-in. I'm on the road with miserable internet access. I thank you for being such a gracious host.
Cheryl said…
Hi Jackie, what a wonderful experience to meet someone who restored the Canterbury Cathedral. I was there for a visit with binoculars so I could study the panels. So, so beautiful.
Cheryl said…
Hi GBPool, You've nailed the 'head full of ideas' feeling I get. Thanks for taking time to visit and comment.

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