Why is it ideas come at the least expected and most inconvenient time?
I thought I’d trained my thoughts to assemble when I was having a shower. It seems that has not worked so well, and now the telephone rings instead.
Don’t you hate that?
I wasn’t casting around for an idea for a new book. When I sit down, listening to Ravel, or some other classical music, I close my eyes and drift along to the music, waiting for the imagination to kick in.
Can’t force it, can you?
But, five minutes to three, after a frantic call announcing yet another storm in a teacup, I’m racing out the door, setting the alarm, locking the door, and …
… bing …
The idea is there, out of left field, in front of me.
Here’s the pitch:
Detroit, ghost town, a nightwatchman, formerly a high flyer on Wall Street, is doing the rounds.
Yep, different location, same story as a dozen others, you say.
With him, his work partner, from Mexico, a woman with a checkered past, maybe an illegal, maybe not, but who would work for the kind of pay they got if there was not something they were either running or hiding from?
A man and a woman thrown together by fate. Seriously?
They’re guarding a large factory, looking exactly the same as it had been the last time it had been working, only there are no people, no work, no likelihood of it reopening.
It’s night. It’s dark. Only the security lighting casts a dim glow over everything, casting shadows. The walls and roof creaks the building moves, as all do in a wind.
From here it could go anywhere, ghosts, thrills, murder, mayhem, or …
Every night is the same, go to point B, the extent of the guard’s run, and no further. Punch a card to say you’ve done the check, then back to the office.
As for the rest of the factory, don’t worry. They were told It was taken care of by another team. It was a large factory, and neither had questioned their orders. A job was a job in a city where jobs were at a premium.
Six months, from the office to point B and back.
Of course, the story has to suddenly come alive, like when you’re sitting alone in a dark room watching a horror moving, and the music hypes the fear factor to 1000% and you nearly jump out of your skin.
Not so easy to do in writing, but we try.
Six months and one day later, it was time to find out what was beyond point B.
What they found was to change the fabric and course of their lives.
That’s as much as I wrote down for the initial idea, and since then it has developed into half an outline, with an ending.
When I get time, the rest will become a new book.