A guest blog! Where do ideas come from?

I’m pleased to introduce Jack Bowie, a good friend and a wonderful writer. We’ve both been working on the craft long enough to have learned a few things. We’ve probably even mastered one or two. But the topic all writers face at one time or another is what Jack’s writing about today. Have at it!

Greetings. Your host was kind enough to ask me to join him on this post. As some background, I’m a hard-core techy whose career spans researcher, engineer, and high-tech executive. A lifelong reader, I love the novels by Ludlum, Clancy, Baldacci, and Silva. As I approached retirement, I decided I’d better get started on that political techo-thriller I had promised myself I would write. Well, seven books later, I’m still at it and enjoying every minute, mostly. 😉

Jack's latest

Writers often get asked how they come up with their story ideas. I have my own way and wanted to share it in this post. Now I have on occasion accused Josh of getting his ideas from nightmares after a long night out, but, to be honest, mine tend to come from articles I read. Real life is full of fascinating events, coincidences, and surprises. You just have to see them the right way. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

One of my daughters works for a company that coordinates clinical trials for drugs in low- and middle-income countries. All good. But what if the drug/chemical company was testing biological weapons, not drugs? Then what if the CEO of the trials company suspected this but wasn’t sure, and she asked a college friend, who is an investigator, to come in undercover. That has promise. To learn more, check out The Bergen Legacy.

I read one day that my college alma mater once had a secret society. Think Yale’s Skull and Bones but without the money. It was disbanded in the 1960s.  What if it was resurrected with alumni? And what if one of those alumni used the group to influence public policy and enrich their company? Even to the detriment of our country. Find out what happens in The Osiris Inquiry.

I think you get the idea. It’s all about using your imagination and asking what if?

Now here’s one for you. I have a high school reunion coming up, and I received an email from aJack classmate. She said she had been going back through her yearbooks, saw a nice note I had written, and wanted to thank me. That sounds innocuous enough. But what if the note hadn’t been so nice? Could it have referred to an event she had mostly forgotten? Where would you take this?

Hope I’ve given you some ideas for that next novel. What are you waiting for? Get back to writing!

Keep on reading (and writing),


About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!
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2 Responses to A guest blog! Where do ideas come from?

  1. Looking forward to reading about the reunion pertaining to the outcome of “the note”, lol.

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