People ask me all the time how I come up with ideas for my now 23 Klepto Cat Mysteries. And where do the ideas for this blog come from—I mean I’ve been blogging here since 2009 and I post 5 days a week. Friday night, I participated in a book launch for The Ojai Valley; An Illustrated History, a book I wrote and published in 1983, revised in 1999, and which has been revised again by the Ojai Valley Museum. I told the audience that I’m the author of 65 books and counting. And several people asked me, “What do you write about?” “How do you come up with so many ideas?”
I believe this ability is the result of my article-writing experience. I started my writing career by writing articles for magazines. I also developed a newspaper column and wrote it for several years. While I wrote on many topics—business, parenting, family, writing, publishing, current events, etc, animals were some of my favorite subjects. I’ve submitted articles on many aspects of horses, cats, and even wild animals to a variety of publications.
I’m not sure, but I suspect that this work—and the process of coming up with and developing such a wide-range of ideas and ways of sharing those ideas has helped me to become more aware of what’s going on around me. It’s made me a better researcher. It has helped me to take something mundane, perhaps, and create one, two or maybe even dozens of articles or even an interesting storyline on the topic. But maybe it’s something I come by naturally. I’m not sure. And I’m still not exactly sure how to respond to people who ask me, “How do you come up with so many storylines for so many books?” It’s something most people can’t even fathom.