Where do ideas come from?
Creative folk get asked that a lot and the answer is always everywhere, but sometimes I find it interesting to write down the chain of sparks that started a fire, so to speak. I know “Ham on Heels” started with a conversation I had with Stephanie Johnson (Flint & Steel, baby!).
Of course I can’t recall at all what led to that image or what the conversation was about but as she often does, Stephanie turned the idea into a cool image. We both laughed with delight and I saved it on my ‘to-do’ list to write the story. I should check the email’s date to see how far back that was but it’s been a while.
So the next thing I did, in keeping with the rigorous creative process I maintain, was forget all about it. Or not exactly forget, but forget why I had this image in my head. Gradually it was replaced with the cool image that Stephanie made and there it languished.
And quite unexpectedly one day the story popped into my head, whole and Athena-like. Was it the same story? A new one? I have no idea. Seriously. I don’t know, but I wrote it and sent it to Jason at Pulp Metal Magazine who has a taste for the bizarre and it made him laugh, so he published it (it’s good to know editors’ tastes). Stephanie even tweaked the image a little to make it more perfect (I thought it was already!). I hemmed for a moment over who would get credit, me or Graham Wynd, but it seemed so quintessentially noir despite the bizarre, that in the end I went with Graham.
Yes, I have those conversations with myself. Oh, and my other selves. I contain multitudes.
Graham is on Twitter now, too. Follow him for more crime-related stuff.