I saw Robert B. Parker at a book signing many years ago. He told a story of being on one of those morning wake-up shows all television stations have, sharing a spot with Elmore Leonard. They were sitting in the Green Room, passing the time, and agreed the question they least liked answering was, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Ten minutes later, on camera, the helmet-haired blonde hostess’s first question was to Parker: “Where do you get your ideas?”
“Utica,” he said. “There’s a little store there. Lots of writers use it.”
The hostess accepted that as the most logical answer in the world, then turned to Leonard, “And how about you, Mr. Leonard?”
This story came to mind at Bouchercon when I saw Reed Farrel Coleman on a panel, and the topic of where ideas come from was raised.
“Schenectady,” he said, then did Parker one better. “Too bad this conference wasn’t a couple of weeks earlier. We missed the end of summer idea sale. Now they already have the Christmas ideas in.”