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3586Four or five months ago, I was wandering in my favorite secondhand bookstore when my eyes fell on a book called The Great Illusionists. Other than a fleeting crush on David Copperfield when I was fourteen, I’ve never had much of an interest in stage magic—still, I couldn’t help picking up the book.

As I flipped through the pages, I imagined a teenage boy who was drawn to the book because he wanted to disappear. I thought about who might have owned the book before the boy and came to the conclusion that it was a teenage girl with a powerful secret. I had no idea what the secret was or how the boy fit into things, but I had the kernel of an idea.

Needless to say, I bought the book. And then set it aside. I had jut finished the first rough draft of Hemlock and wanted to finish one book before starting another.

The idea waited. Occasionally—usually at 3:00AM when I couldn’t sleep—I’d haul it out and examine it, trying to make the pieces fall into place. They stubbornly wouldn’t fit, not until the week I finished the final (for now) draft of Hemlock.

Once the pieces slid into place, I couldn’t NOT write. Even though I had told myself I was taking at least a month off from, I’d rush home from work and fire up my fledgling manuscript.

Someday, I’ll desperately want to write and the ideas just won’t be there. For now, I’m grateful that the idea are there and that I can work on them. The Illusionist’s Field Guide is underway.