On more than one occasion readers have asked me where do my story ideas come from. A good question. I imagine that every author would answer that question differently. For me, the answer is rather simple. Before going to sleep in my bed at night I visualize stories in my head. Stories that over the years urged themselves to come alive in written form. Some of these stories sprang from real events in my life, others were just imagination—a way of counting sheep to put me to sleep. Engaging cognitive processing late at night is very tiring for the brain and still proves an effective soporific for me.

For example, the Illuminati cycle began with an idea that our chocolate lab Bailey gave One day my youngest daughter took off on her bike with a neighborhood friend. An hour later Bailey disappeared from the house. I looked for her but she was nowhere to be found. Later that afternoon my daughter and her friend came riding up to our back yard with Bailey trailing behind. Following their scent, the lab had found them some miles from home at a local pond. That became the seed for the first book in the Illuminati Cycle—The Illuminati Protocol. That’s how one of my novels was born.

Do you have a good tale running around in your head? If so, spill it out on paper. It may be the next great American novel and, if not, the writing will serve as a great cure to insomnia!