That's where I get my ideas. When I've run out and the cupboard is bare, I just head over to the monkey tree, holler, and a friendly monkey reaches down and hands me an envelope. Inside is a shiny new idea of awesomeness. And then I head home and start to write.
OK, not true. But it would be nice. I got the idea for TFN (pleeeease somebody publish it, pleeeease!) many many years ago in an A-level English Language exam. Best exam question ever: write the first chapter of a novel. I can't quite remember if there was more to it than that. I kind of think there must have been - maybe they gave us the first line or something? Anyhoo, I wrote about a girl in the woods, alone and frightened. She'd just escaped from a house she'd been held in against her will for weeks and weeks. She didn't know the identity of her captor, or why she'd been taken. It was fun to write.
I enjoyed writing it so much that the idea stayed with me, lurking somewhere in my brain's filing cabinet, until I pulled it out and dusted it off three years ago. The scene I wrote in the exam doesn't appear in my story, and the main character is completely different, but the feelings are the same. If it hadn't been for that exam question, I doubt I'd ever have come up with the idea for the novel, unless I'd paid a visit to those benevolent monkeys...
The idea for the book I'm working on now came from an overheard conversation at work. Someone said the words 'bus crash', and I was away. At least I think they said 'bus crash' - I may have misheard. Doesn't matter though; it got me started. BTW, there is no bus crash in this book. It was just a starting point that got my mind itching and twitching and wanting to write. So thank you, dear colleague.
Person of the day: Nev the newsagent, who didn't mind that I waited 4 days to pay him the £116 I owed him