Every couple of months, the Donald Maass Literary Agency, which represents a roster of genre writers in science fiction, romance, mystery, and horror, posts to its website “what we’re looking for”—a handful of book ideas within a central theme. April/May suggestions center around historical figures in fiction. The story starters aren’t meant to be prescriptive but to promote a creative spark:
Abraham Lincoln—the story of the political tensions behind the much-delayed Emancipation Proclamation
J.P. Morgan—intrigue and murder during J.P. Morgan’s single-handed rescue of the American banking system in 1907
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower—romances and conflicts among the Allied command, seen from the point of view of Gen. Eisenhower’s driver and mistress, Kay Summersby
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry—The author of The Little Prince was an aviator and fighter with the Free French Forces in WWII. He disappeared during a reconnaissance flight behind German lines in July 1944, but that is not the whole story …
Ayn Rand—A New York detective investigates a murder following the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand—and finds that the case leads to the philosopher-author herself and her circle of acolytes.
See where these prompts take you, and check back in to Donald Maass’s site next month for more ideas.