When I wrote last week about finishing a book and looking forward to starting the next one, Siany left a comment asking how I chose which idea to go with. The answer to that is pretty easy – whichever one I can’t stop thinking about. I have a list of about ten books I’d like to write and they all pop in and out of my head, but there’s always one that’s – as my mother-in-law would say – pecking my head, and so that’s the one I go with.
Sian also said she worries she’ll never have another idea, so I thought I’d write about what gave me the idea for Jessie ♥ NYC. The line on the picture above is from a Jason Mraz song, If It Kills Me. It’s about a boy who’s in love with his best friend’s girlfriend:
How long can I go on like this, wishing to kiss you, before I rightly explode?
This double life I lead isn’t healthy for me, in fact it makes me nervous.
If I get caught I could be risking it all.
When I first heard it, I thought, “Hmm. Interesting.” But it wasn’t until these lines that I knew I wanted to write about it:
Well you and I
Why we go carrying on for hours on end
We get along much better
Than you and your boyfriend
I just love that so much. I started thinking about this boy and he popped into my head, standing in Times Square, New York, holding a bunch of red roses, wearing a tuxedo and trying to flag down a cab. I don’t know where he came from, but there he was. I called him Finn.
When I started writing Jessie, that’s all I had. (It wasn’t called Jessie then, cos I didn’t even have Jessie.) I also had another idea basied on the E Annie Proulx book, Accordion Crimes, which follows an accordion through various different owners. My idea was to follow a lost iPod. I started writing it for NaNoWriMo last year. Jessie was the owner of the iPod. She went to New York and left it in a cab. The cab that Finn ended up hailing. He found the iPod.
I persevered with the iPod idea for the rest of November, adding a few more characters, but I kept thinking about Jessie and Finn. So I scrapped everyone else, binned the (fictional) iPod and wrote Jessie and Finn’s story instead.
(I hope you like it.)