Friday, 16 March 2012
Dutch author Jochem Vandersteen writes the Noah Milano crime stories about a reformed Mafioso trying to go straight. He tracks the comings and goings of PI fiction on his blog, The Sons of Spade, and is the founder of The Hardboiled Collective .
His newest novelette, Redemption is on sale right now.
Here are a few of his thoughts.
All writers know one of the questions they get asked the most is “Where do you get your ideas?”
Well, there’s a billion places they can come from. Mostly, it’s all about “What If”.
I’ll let you in on a secret… The whole idea behind the Noah Milano series is “What If Xena, Warrior Princess was a male PI in LA.” Seriously! The whole theme behind a bad man trying to make up for his past sins was inspired by that cheesy but entertaining TV show.
And talk about inspirations coming from cheesy TV shows… The inspiration for my new novelette Redemption came from watching an episode of Dr. Phil where we saw how parents confronted the woman that killed their son. I thought “What If Noah Milano was hired to protect the killer from those parents?”
It worked out pretty well. The whole redemption theme has been a strong and popular element of the Noah Milano stories. Mixing the dark past of the killer with that of Noah’s created an interesting story.
Sometimes, like for The Alabaster-Skinned Mule , in which a young girl unknowingly smuggles drugs for Mexican criminals., ideas come from watching somebody walk down the street… Yep, the femme fatale in that novelette actually exists. Well, her likeness, anyway. She’s not really a drug mule. Not that I know of. The rest of the story was inspired by a news story about drug mules. That’s one hell of an advice to new writers… Watch the news, choose a juice news item, add your protagonist and see what happens.
I never have problems getting ideas. The hardest part is choosing the most promising to work with and finding the time to work them all out.
Where do you get yours?