One of the most common questions a writer hears is Where do you get your ideas?

As a historical writer, ideas are all around.  No matter what book or text I read, I can pull a story idea or scene from it.  For instance.  Recently, I dipped into Claude Manceron’s Volume 2 of his Age of the French Revolution.  There in the very first chapter of The Wind from America:  1778 – 1781 was a write up about John Paul Jones and his attack on England during the American Revolution.

What?  You don’t know about England being attacked?

The story certainly isn’t in any school textbooks to which I was exposed when growing up.
Yet, in April 1778, John Paul Jones led the men of his ship Ranger to an attack on the port of Whitehaven.  His men capture the sentries, spike the cannons so they cannot shoot at the fleeing American ship and fire a merchant ship caught in the low ebb of the tide.  He determined to show the English that their vaunted navy couldn’t protect the homeland.  Let them see what the colonial rebels had to face.  He brought the American revolution to England, and the next day, barricades began to go up along the coastline.  Not a single American is killed or wounded—or left behind.

And that was when my writer’s imagination fired up.

What if a man had accidentally been left behind in a country stirred up by the attack?  Since I write romances, obviously a woman would be involved in his hiding and escape attempts.

So there is the idea.  Now to file it away until I can develop it further.  Maybe some day you’ll read Escape from England, and you’ll know where the story idea sparked.

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