Why I Write Fiction

I write fiction because I am fascinated by the human spirit and how it ebbs and flows, twists and turns over a lifetime. I see so many social circumstances  I want to explore and have always found it freeing to explore these conditions in fiction. I see writing fiction as a delightful part of my future.

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Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas?

October 2015 clip-art-books-with-lamp6

Where Writers Get Their Ideas?

It’s magical really. Well, at first it may seem that way. Creative thoughts, words and phrases running through a writer’s mind as she is writing. Sometimes it feels the words are like ribbons spilling out of our fingers, pens, pencils or keypads as if someone or something else is actually gathering them up and pushing them out on the page. When that happens I always send up a sincere ‘Thank You’ to the goddess of verbiage and thoughts. Yes, it is magic and when it happens I take a big breath and stay with it as long as I can.

And then I remember all the studying I have done – many college classes and dozens of writing books over the years. I read classics – Russian, English, and mostly American.

Writers get this question all the time – “Where do your ideas come from?” Ideas come right from a compilation of life and the writer’s experiences – encounters and events or things she has witnessed or researched. Writers have a way of filling up their internal and invisible sponge with all that moves before their eyes and ears and all the minutia of life. A writer is voraciously curious and thirsty for interest. A bit of this person, a little of that person, saved notes of conversation and pieces of experience all go into the vault of ideas. So ideas come from just about anywhere and go into the big soup pot of a rich mix. And then at the end of this wash of creativity comes the real work. Revision, revision and then more revision. The work never seems completely right and some writers may revise a dozen times or more.

I watched much of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida. I suspect many writers watch court cases on TV or better yet in their own county courtrooms with thoughts of incorporating what they see into their stories. We have files of interesting newspaper clips and magazine articles to be used at a later date for inspiration or research. I took notes on the attributes of the detectives, lawyers and court proceedings during the trial in Sanford. I used those notes to describe the detectives in A Bone In Her Teeth: A St. Augustine Mystery.

Traveling through the streets of Gettysburg, Washington, DC, and Antitam and walking many battlefields helped me immensly with description in my historical novel, The Chrysalis: An American Family Endures The Civil War.

I just finished reading Justice Sonia Sotomayr’s memoir, My Beloved World. When she was a young girl of about eight years old, she faithfully watched the weekly television program, Perry Mason and decided she wanted to be a lawyer! And then she diligently pursued that direction in every single aspect of her educational life all the way to her seat on the United States Supreme Court. I used her early years for inspiration in Morgan’s Redemption

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor

Where do we get our ideas for writing? Everywhere and anywhere.

St. Augustine Tides

from A Bone In Her Teeth, chapter one…
When an evening Atlantic high tide seeks the many inlets of St. Augustine, Florida it washes a slow undulating torrent of briny water up into the San Sebastian River and turns the backwater marshes deep and dark with eons-old mysteries. Six hours later at ebb tide the waters flow back into the ocean leaving behind ponds and pockets rich with the salty evolution of plants and animals. The vegetation, mollusks, silt, and sea creatures nearly glow yet hide all their murky secrets and life-forcing activities. Then, a stillness – a waiting for the return of the voyager, the sailor back from the sea – until the quickening of flood tide, sea breezes and the pull of the Earth’s moon cause the whole cycle to happen again.

St. Augustine Record Newspaper: A Bone In Her Teeth book review

By ANNE C. HEYMEN

A Bone In Her Teeth
By Ann McAllister Clark; Infinity: $16.95.
Anna Wells, who grew up in Michigan, finds herself suddenly in St. Augustine the owner of what she thought was the home of a dear aunt. Instead she finds she’s inherited a 1956 outfitted barge moored at Safety Harbor Marina.
Life looks pretty grim for the widow who, with her husband, once owned a bookstore in Michigan. But eventually caught up in the unusual family of boaters at the Safety Harbor Marina and hired by the dear man who owns Thoberry’s Bookshop in historic St. Augustine
Anna finds her life taking twists and turns she never expected — including romance and murder. Along the way, Anna meets some fascinating and some frightening individuals.
As author Clark explains, “A Bone In Her Teeth” is a “nautical term for a vessel with a prominent white wave at her bow as she’s well under way.” And the author also notes that this book in “the first in a series of the charm and mysteries of St. Augustine, Florida.” Clark’s first book is fast paced, weaves an intriguing tale of murder and for residents of St. Augustine provides further challenges as the reader tries to figure out just where the marina is located, especially in regard to the bookstore at which Anna finds a position.
And there are “fun” characters woven through “Bone,” like the Crumb Sisters, who operate a sightseeing carriage and call the marina home; and others who show Anna how to adapt to life on a boat “home.”
You’ll find “Bone” a fun read, especially great for the winter nights which have descended now upon the ancient city. Snuggle up to a roaring fire and become immersed in Anna’s new life in the oldest city. You’ll find Clark’s book a quick, fun read.