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Making Stuff Up

The Home to Heather Creek editor shares her challenges in creating a new book series.

Today I spent a good part of my morning brainstorming ideas for a new fiction series. I do this fairly regularly—after all, it’s part of my job to come up with new books our readers are going to love.

I often put it off, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because it becomes a bit consuming. It takes time, for sure, to be creative. It means I have to close my door, turn off my email, and allow myself the space to think. It also means thinking creatively, which, to be honest, there are times I just don’t want to do.

Often, it’s easier to simply deal with emails and read manuscripts than to come up with ideas of my own. It takes energy, too. I’m always surprised at how draining it is to write. I’m just sitting in a chair! How hard could it possibly be?! Yet somehow, it’s draining on so many levels.

But when I get down to work and force myself to come up with new series ideas, I always remember why I love this job. I get to sit here and make stuff up! I get to create characters, and worlds, and stories. I get to imagine dramas and carry the characters through them. It’s fun coming up with problems for the characters to solve, watching the characters develop in my mind. 
I love to think about what’s going to make a reader want to pick this book up and what’s going to make them want to keep reading. They don’t pay me to sit here and dream—I’m required to create books people will want to buy. My first clue that I’m on to something is usually that I don’t want to tear myself away. Once I get into an idea, I just want to play with it, develop it, create it. That’s usually how I know it’s something our readers will want too. 

I hope the series idea I created today makes it all the way to become printed books. But even if it doesn’t, I’ll get to come up another idea tomorrow. I love this job.

Beth Adams is the creator and editor of GUIDEPOSTS’ Home to Heather Creek fiction series.

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