For example, at the moment I am working on the next book in The Night Stalkers series. This time my helicopter pilots are headed off to face the scourge of the Persian Gulf, the Somali pirates. This in turn has led me to read about a rather remarkable ship called an amphibious assault ship. It's like a tiny aircraft carrier on steroids. In addition to a few dozen helicopters and some Harrier jets, she can also carry several dozen landing craft in her belly. Whoever thought this one up went way out of the box.
So now I have this very cool setting, a female attack helicopter pilot with some serious attitude (she flies a tiny but lethal chopper as dangerous as herself), and a Navy SEAL who thinks she a complete lunatic. And for a SEAL to think you're crazy, you really have to be out there!
The joy of discovery continued as I looked for a place for them to visit together while on leave for entirely different reasons. I remembered an old church in northern Vermont, a round church. The idyllic setting made a fascinating contrast to life aboard the U.S.S. Peleliu amphibious assault ship. It also was a wonderful chance to revisit, at least mentally, one of my favorite places on earth, Northern Vermont. I worked, skied, picked apples, and hiked there many times before moving west after college.
And though this book won't be available until next year, it reminds me of what I love about the Night Stalkers series and all of the interesting places I get to discover. (Take Over at Midnight available 12/1/2013.)
And not only places. My wife's best friend is down visiting. And one of the things they do when they get together is knit... Madly! The joy and the knit goods flutter about the place for days on end. And then this morning they dropped a bomb into my next Angelo's Hearth contemporary romance book. Not an F-bomb, but a Yarn-bomb! Yarn-bombing is the covering something in yarn. From a fence post to, well, a locomotive.
My heroine in book three, due out by Christmas, will be doing her own immensely creative tasks with yarn to promote her own design work. And Seattle and the stage manager for Emerald City Opera had better look out, because she's going to design her way right into their hearts.
Did I mention that I love writing?! Ideas are just the coolest things. I can't think of a profession that's more fun. Wishing everyone great joy in their words, whether reading or writing them.