The Lure of the Story Idea

Now that my novel is with a group of beta readers, I’m taking a break from writing to come up with some more story ideas. I have to admit, given the news lately, I’m not sure I can come up with anything better.

New story ideas are like looking down an unfamiliar road. What’s waiting around the corner? Who will I meet there? How will I be changed for having followed that winding trail?

The possibilities are endless. Here are a few I’ve dreamed up:

The Vanishing Footprints

Every school day for ten years, a girl walks to her best friend’s house, and then they continue on to the bus stop together. One snowy morning, she turns around after ringing her friend’s doorbell. Her footsteps in the snow have vanished. And so has she.

While she can see everyone, she’s invisible to all. Then she finds out she’s not the only one who has vanished. When she learns why, she realizes she’s the only one who can stop the evil plans of the mastermind who seeks to control the earth through terror.

The Lost Tiger

A boy loses his stuffed tiger in the airport. When it’s found and his father identifies it, the police arrest him for smuggling drugs. Only one federal agent believes the father’s tale and goes after the real smugglers.

Lethal Lilacs

When a rash of teen violence strikes a small town, everyone has someone-or something-to blame. Suspicion falls on a respected youth leader, who taught many of the youths how to hunt and shoot. He insists he’s innocent. Then a common link is found and the hunt is on, to try to be sure, before any more violence breaks out.


What appears to be mistletoe is killing the pine trees. The local arborist does what he can to eradicate it, but nothing works. Then he discovers it’s a mutant form of mistletoe that can latch onto anything living, not just trees. And it grows faster the bigger it gets. Once it bonds with birds, it spreads exponentially. Then it’s on cats and dogs. When it makes the jump to humans, things really get terrifying.

Here Come the Aliens

An alien scout ship orbits the Earth. The problem? They communicate only through smells. Now that I think about it, this has the potential to be the ultimate cross-cultural comedy.

The Princes in the Tower

Ben is tired of being under his older brother’s thumb, and is sure no one has it worse than he does. When a freak storm sends him back in time, he befriends the sons of Edward IV, bonding especially with Richard, the younger, who chafes a little at the idea his brother will be king. Ben follows them into captivity and witnesses their deaths, realizing there are worse fates than being second fiddle.

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