The origin of ideas

I was the guest of a book club this week, the tenth I’ve visited on behalf of This Hidden Thing. Like the nine previous, it was a very enjoyable and stimulating experience. It’s one of the easier tasks of a writer’s life: you show up, answer questions, listen with appreciation and sometimes surprise to what your work has loosed in others, eat great food, and return to your work encouraged.

One of the questions I get most often is “What’s the origin of this book?” or its variation, “Where do you get your ideas?” I really should have a more fluent and coherent answer figured out by now, but I usually fumble around with a whole bunch of things that threw themselves into the mix — like a wish to feature Winnipeg (my home city), an interest in the notion of secrets, and my research in Mennonite history. Continue reading