Did you ever get the feeling you were being watched?

Have you ever wondered how writers come up with their characters? I’ve written over forty books, and I like to think that every person I put into a story is unique. There are bound to be some similarities, after all, in all the people we know, there are people with similar traits. That’s what usually makes people friends.

But how does a writer get ideas for people who wouldn’t be their friends?

Often it comes from strangers. An interesting place to watch strangers and see what they do and how they act is at the mall. Malls are an interesting place, where people can interact with each other, or walk around with an invisible shield around them, or a combination of both.  Many times you can look at someone going down the aisle and figure out a little about them by the way they’re acting. Are they having a good time, or irritated and obviously want to be out of there as soon as possible? Are they chatting with friends around them, or have they come alone? How is a mother dealing with misbehaving children, or are the children happy to be out of the house and mixing with a crowd?

In all those things, we writers often wonder, what is their backstory? Why are they acting that way? Since we don’t know, we get to make it up.

And that’s where the fun begins.