Hi everyone. At my last book talk and signing at Newcastle City Library I was asked the question – where do my ideas come from? The truth is I never know what’s going to happen in any of my novels. I don’t start at the beginning; neither do I work on the ending as many authors I know do. I simply work on an idea and expand on it never knowing where it will take me. I call this my sculpturing process. Like a sculptor adds and takes away clay from their subject matter, I do the same with my writing.
In my third novel in the DCI Jack Mason and David Carlisle crime thrillers, I’ve been working on the idea of phobias. This has festered inside my head for years now. And yes, there are dozens of phobias. There’s the fear of the dark, heights, water, animals, lifts, to name but a few. Now me I hate snakes, and you already know that. I run a mile every time I see one. This got me thinking, what do people fear most? The simple answer is spiders.
Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is one of the most common phobias. The truth is not many people like spiders. Ask yourself the question, if you find a spider in your home, do you scream and run away, or do you freeze. If you are unable to kill or trap the spider yourself, you may rely on a friend or another family member to rescue you from the situation. I’ve heard it said that there are those who suffer arachnophobia go to great lengths to ensure that they do not expose themselves to spiders. Some are even unwilling to participate in activities, such as hiking or camping, or any other activity that carries a heightened risk of exposure to spiders. And yet spiders are not uncommon. Some experts, such as psychologists feel that arachnophobia is more likely based on cultural beliefs about the nature of spiders. Since most spiders are venomous, the fear of spiders may have made humans more likely to react as they do. Now let’s not get too technical here, let’s get back to the real issue of where I get my ideas from!
I’m considering calling my third novel Angelica’s Curse. Why? Let’s suppose you’re at home one night, and this great big hairy spider suddenly appears on your living room floor. It’s enormous, twice the size of a dinner plate! You’re alone, and there’s nobody around to help you. This is no ordinary spider, though, because it’s been put there by someone who holds a grudge against you.
How do you deal with it?
Well it’s just an idea!!!
Catch you later, Michael.