What I've always tried to find in my books are points at which the private lives of the characters, and also my own, intersect with the public life of the culture.
Every snapshot collector has obsessions. Some only collect photos of cars. Others like World War II, or babies, or old-timey girls in old-timey swimsuits. I happen to collect the weird stuff: photos that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little. The uncanny.
Ideas come from all over, but as I write more and more, I find I'm always hunting for mood: I want to write a novel with a pervasive mood that sticks with you after you close the cover.
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