Following on from yesterday's post and the link to the How to Get Published conference, I've been delving into the Writers & Artists site, a great resource for anyone interested in writing and publishing. Have a look, for instance, at the interviews with authors page which includes inter alia a short Q&A with Alexander McCall Smith and a longer conversation with Suzy Joinson.
One question which comes up almost every time authors are put under the spotlight is "where do you get your ideas from?", or to put it another way, "how do you get started?". I find the genesis of a novel quite fascinating, learning what snatch of overheard conversation or glimpsed image, say, sparked a train of thought which eventually resulted in a complete book. It's a seemingly magical process based on that indefinable, intangible 'inspiration' and underpinned by a great deal of time, effort and talent, but every writer starts somewhere, even if that is with a blank sheet of paper and a similarly empty mind. Novelist Katie Hickman (author of The Aviary Gate - post on it here - and The Pindar Diamond) describes the process in her piece How do you begin a novel? and gives what sounds to me like very good advice.