A while back I had a reader ask via Goodreads where I get my ideas. Well, it's a funny thing. Part of me wants to give the old speech about 'the stork brings them' or 'they come from under cabbage leaves'... Oh wait, that's babies.
I really don't have an answer for where ideas come from. Not mine anyway.
Sometimes, I'll see something on the news and it'll spark an idea. I have pages and pages of those in a file on my hard drive.
Sometimes, I'll see something on a fictional program or in a movie, and riff off that. My first book was sparked by the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact. I didn't like seeing Bruce Willis die and I sure as hell didn't like seeing the eastern seaboard destroyed. So, I fixed it. My second book came from something I saw about The Year Without a Summer (the year the supervolcano wiped out Tambora and threw so much ash into the atmosphere, they really didn't have a summer in places that ought to.)
A few times I asked myself a question and the story idea comes out of the answer. For instance, Wish in One Hand is the result of my asking myself what kind of urban fantasy I could write that would be different from what's already out there. Genies! Of course, by the time I actually finished the book, Sonya Bateman was out there with her genie books. And now there are others. But I still think mine's pretty different.
Then I asked myself what I could do with the genies to make the story more. Genies are, by their nature, slaves. What if my heroine is a freed genie who helps other genies get free, too? And then I upped the stakes. "What if there are people who don't like her running around freeing other genies?" "What if something is killing genies to prove a point?"
I guess there's the real answer to the question - where do my ideas come from? They come from 'What if?' My brain is always running through possibilities and scenarios of how things could be different with a simple twist here and a zig there. LOL, probably why I have a tough time sleeping. My brain needs to shut the hell up long enough for rest. But as they say, there's no rest for the wicked.
I hope that helps answer the eternal question - at least about me. Not sure what other authors would give as their source of ideas. What do you think?