Writers are often asked this question. And there are many different answers.
For myself, I don't really know. No, really. A fellow writer told me I should tell our group where I get my blog ideas. Hmmm, let's see ... I sit down on Friday morning after one or two cups of coffee, and stare at the blank screen until something comes into my head. I know, not very professional or helpful. But honestly, that's how it goes most Fridays. It could be a headline I saw, or a question somebody asked, but more often than not, I can't actually explain it.
I also can't really say where my book ideas come from. A conversation with a friend can spark something or my brain goes on a "what if" tangent. Beyond The Horizon came from me wanting to understand my daughter's abusive situation better. Although, the story is nothing like her life. It actually took on a life of it's own once I started with the premise of somebody attempting to escape that situation. And the "what ifs" kicked in.
My second book started out with me wanting to explore how I felt about putting my mom in a nursing home. It also doesn't reflect my situation or what happened and has taken on a life of it's own. After all, I write novels, not memoirs. The characters take over and there I go.
Where do you get your ideas? Please share.