Philip David Alexander
It's usually something visual for me. I will witness something, or sometimes a series of things, often just everyday occurrences, and they will stick with me. For example, I started writing North of Here after seeing a middle-aged couple sitting in a park. They were sitting at opposite ends of a bench with their backs to each other, and yet they were involved in what sounded like a bitter argument. He would holler something, his voice projecting away from her and then he'd stop and she would argue back, also yelling in the opposite direction, and she pounded her fist on the bench when she made her point, which struck me as both sad and funny. Seeing them started me thinking about what they could be so upset about? What was it that made them want to engage in an argument with no eye contact and in a public place? They eventually became the basis for the two main characters in North of Here. I invented their lives and the complicated reason(s) for their animosity.