Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where do you get your short story ideas, anyway?

Most authors are asked that question at least once in their career, if not many times. I get the same question, although sometimes it's worded differently. Like, "Why do you write such strange stories?" or "Where on earth do you get such strange ideas?" LOL. People are surprised when I tell them that most of my stories come from simple things that happen in real life. Or they come from something I wonder about.

For example, in my first short story collection that was just released, HALLOWEEN THIRTEEN--A Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales, all of the stories were inspired by everyday occurrences.

Breakfast du Jour, my tale of comedic West Texas zombies, was inspired by a long-ago memory of driving down an inky black highway and seeing an old neon sign in the distance. Out there, in the dark, the road turns into a shimmery snake-like mirage and you see all sorts of things. Or you THINK you do. :-)

Phone Calls from Dead People was inspired by something my grandmother used to say.

One of only two poems in the collection, Catalyst, was inspired by watching how crazy my cats get sometimes in the middle of the night. I wondered, are they affected by phases of the moon? The other poem, Phantom Lover,  was triggered by a dog barking in the night.

My tale of the Poes, Edgar Allan and Virginia, Forevermore, was inspired by thinking how hard it must be sometimes to live with a famous author.

A reader's favorite, Best Halloween Ever, 1965, was inspired by a childhood memory.

Vampire Fever (or Hairum-Scarum Vampire), started out as a spoof of the classic DRACULA novel I wrote titled THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER. I wanted a shorter version with an alternative ending. And I'll admit it's a bit of a fun poke at all the vampire stories that have been swooping around the last few years.

Of course, I just can't help myself, I have to put a bit of black humor into my stories. Believe me, I've tried to write them otherwise and it just doesn't work.

For me, coming up with the ideas is the easy part. I love writing holiday stories and although most of these are not Halloween stories per se, they can be enjoyed at Halloween, read-aloud (most are rated PG-13) and shared with others who like their short fiction a little, how shall we say, straaaange?

If you're a fan of strange stories, please check out my collection.

Available on as an e-book; paperback to come

Happy trails from Texas!

bobbi c.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Let's face it: vampire stories never die. They are forever popular!

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

:-) That is true, Jacqueline. Actually, my vampire book and script is my most popular. That should tell me something. LOL