Like Edge of Escape, my next two YA novels, The Guardian’s Diary and Sheltered, were set in suburban high schools and I also loosely based some of the characters on my students. But for A Soul’s Kiss my inspiration came from – this is going to sound strange – STD’s.
Here’s the thought pattern: I wish I knew what other people were thinking … I wish I could be that person for a day … What if your body could release your spirit and you could inhabit their body? Yes, I know, that's been done a dozen times – body swapping. Freaky Friday, Disney movies, etc. Now for the inspiration: What if my main character didn't swap bodies? What if she just left behind others’ thoughts and dreams? Like an STD. Ooo, think of the implications: she'd pick up their secrets and unknowingly drop them off in the minds of those who shouldn't know those secrets. The novel evolved from there with sub-themes of bullying, hidden crushes, and even racial tolerance.
I wonder where I'll get my next inspiration from ... oh, wait ... got it. You'd be amazed at how one tiny little fact can grow into not one, but two complete novels. More about that when I finish.