I've never really thought much about how a book idea comes into being. I find that the Lord doesn't give me any clues about what's next until I've pretty much tied up the manuscript I'm working on. Still, as I finish this second manuscript, I start dreaming of the next. It is nice to have some inkling of what will consume you for the next two or so years. Kind of like taking a trip to an unknown destination and thinking about what to pack. Anticipation is everything!
I turn my third manuscript in to publisher by August 2010. Sounds like lots of tiime but so much of that time consists of research and polishing as well as writing and rewriting. And until recently I have been a blank slate as far as that third book.
A couple of weeks ago a strange figure popped into my weary brain. More shadow than substance but I knew without taking much of a look it was a colonial militia man. I think I groaned as I'm not too fond of them, with the exception of Daniel Boone. They tended to be a pretty rough, tobacco-chewing bunch. Read Long Knife by the amazing James Alexander Thom and you'll likely come to the same conclusions. I think part of my reluctance to flesh out such a character is that it is beyond my ken. I would have to do a lot of research to do him justice.
But today he became a little more familiar. I took out a notebook and sat in the sun and the shadow I had seen became much more substantial and intersting and I saw his female counterpart also though not as clearly. And so I wrote down the plot line as it came to me which is always so fun and interesting (and bound to change before I actually start that first chapter).
So I have a hero with something to hide and a woman who is intent on unraveling it. Best not say another thing or it will be considered a spoiler.