WHERE DO BOOK IDEAS COME FROM?

During a flight from Moscow to Kazakhstan, it struck me how beautiful the Tien Shan Mountains looked all decked in white and how ugly they could become with global warming. But what about when the permafrost melts in Siberia, now there really had to be a story there. Gradually, Corky Mason, the heroine of The Brothers Cro-Magnon, came into being and told me the story of how she fell in love with a baby mammoth and came within a polar bear’s whisker of being a cavewoman. Sitting high up in Italy’s World War One trenches, while backpacking in the Alps, I tried to wrap my mind around living in an icy trench for a whole year, wearing a thin woolen uniform, exposed to the elements, starving and fighting for my life. Carmela DeMitri materialized from the thin air then stayed with me for three years, sharing her icy story. I sat at an outlook on Mt. Subasio in Italy, gazing down at the white walls of Assisi, and my thinking turned to a book of philosophy I’d been reading that damned faith and belief. What if that philosopher sat here and an avenging angel struck him with a bolt of lightning? Wild thinking indeed, yet it wouldn’t leave me until David Bruno appeared and told me the story of Davide. Whoever said that writing fiction was sane or easy …