Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Coming Up With Ideas

Hello everyone, and may I take this opportunity to wish all my friends, followers, fans and fellow book lovers a very Happy New Year!

Today I am privileged and excited to be kicking off 2013 by welcoming onto my blog my lovely friend and fellow writer Mikey Brooks. This is a first for me, because I haven't before hosted a guest on my blog. It's high time I did and I'm so very pleased that my first guest is Mikey.

Mikey and I met in June 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Rhemalda Publishing's 'Got Stories?' reading and writing conference. We didn't have too much time to get to know each other then, but the spark of friendship and kindred spirit was born. Since then we have worked together, and I have come to realize what an undiscovered talent Mikey is. Not only in his writing (watch out world - Mikey has some great novels to share!) but also as an illustrator. Having dabbled with "art" in a very superficial way myself, I know how hard it is to produce something good. Not only is Mikey's artwork appealing and pleasing to the eye, it also has an irresistible quality that makes you want to see more. I'm sure you will agree when you see the examples further down this post. 

Mikey has some great tips in his post about where you can find ideas to fuel your writing muse. He also has a GIVEAWAY going on over at Goodreads - details at the bottom of his post, so don't miss it! I will hand over to him now and let him tell you all about his work. Take it away, Mikey! 

Coming up with Ideas

By: Author/Illustrator: Mikey Brooks
The idea of Bean’s Dragons actually came from my three year old daughter. One day I was standing in the dining room and she started yelling at someone in the living room. When I went to see who it was the only person in the room was her. She explained to me that her dragons were jumping on the couch and she had told them over and over to get down. Playing along with her imagination, I opened the front door and asked her dragons to go home. Fortunately they never did.

I believe ideas for stories can be found anywhere. We just have to be open to receive them when they do. The best way to keep your ideas flowing is to be doing other things than writing. I know this might sound off the wall, but it’s true. You need to immerse yourself in all things creative. Watch a few shows, read a few books, hang out with kids and ask them to describe crazy things like the tickle monster, or even draw a picture. Ideas really can be anywhere.

Once I have an idea I find it helpful to write it down. I have a notebook on my nightstand that has a pen next to it. Sometimes I’m woken by fantastic dreams or ideas that I think will be great to write about. Sometimes I can’t read the scribbled notes in the morning, but most of the time I get the hint of what I was trying to say. I think it is important to have a notebook, or something for you to collect ideas on, with you all day long. Fortunately I have a smart phone now and can jot down notes anytime in it. Before my phone I used to write on the backs of napkins, scrap paper, even toilet paper. Ideas for my middle grade book The Dream Keeper, started as a dream I had one night. I wrote down what I remembered from it and then later when I was at work I began to sketch out notes on cake order forms (yes, I work in a bakery).

 Now that you have an idea, should you work on it right away? If you are not working on something currently, then yes. If you already have a work in progress, then file those ideas away. Sometimes I will take the idea and write out a few scenes, maybe even an outline before I file it away. That way I have something a little more to bridge from later. Don’t let the surge of ideas keep you away from finishing your current project. Idea drawers are great!

I started writing Bean’s Dragons immediately after I saw my daughter playing with her imaginary friends. I was also working on my middle grade book at the time so I never got around to finishing it. Once I was able to focus on just the picture book, I wrote out the story line and started to create the pictures of the dragons. Here I used a lot of my daughter’s help. Working with kids can be amazing fun. If you ever have a chance to do it, do it.

My daughter helped me pick out all the colors for the dragons and even helped with what they looked like. This was really a joint effort. As I was drawing out the dragons, more ideas for the story came into my head. This goes back to my previous statement that drawing helps with ideas. It didn’t take long to change up the story a bit to fit in what the drawings had given me. In the end I think it turned out to be a terrific book that is a fun read.

I hope you found this bit of information helpful. For other tips on writing, illustrating, and more visit: or my blog at

If you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask.
You can find me on Goodreads at:
on Twitter: @writtenbymikey 
on Pinterest at:
and on Facebook: as Mikey Brooks,
or email me at: insidemikeysworld(at)          
You are invited to check out Bean’s Dragons and my other books, including the newest release: ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures at or on Amazon.

 And thank you Cas Peace for allowing me to give a guest post on your blog. I don’t need to say this because anyone following Cas’s blog already knows how amazing she is, but for those of you who don’t, Cas really is an amazing friend and colleague and I am grateful for her and all she does. Now go check out her books, because they are awesome too!
About the Book: Bean’s Dragons.
Have you ever had a dragon in your house? How about a dozen? Bean is a little girl with an imagination that is creating quite a mess. Although Bean loves each of her dragons, she forgets how untidy they can be when having so much fun. When Bean's parents discover what's happened in their short absence, Bean finds herself the blame of the dragons' giant mess.
You can find more about Bean’s Dragons at:

There is also a GIVEAWAY on Goodreads for Bean’s Dragons and for ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures. Make sure to enter soon, the contest ends on January 26th!



1 comment:

  1. Great article, Mikey. Love your drawings. Happy New Year!