The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing illustrated by Amy WummerToday is Picture Book Wednesday and we’ll be looking at where we get our ideas. This is a question that often comes up when I do author visits and it’s a good one.

In honor of the recently passed St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share how author Natasha Wing got her idea for The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day, illustrated by Amy Wummer. Natasha is the bestselling author of several “Night Before” books and visits schools and libraries talking about her books and writing.

When Natasha was doing one of those visits a few years back, she had the students come up with their own “Night Before” ideas. There were stories like “The Night Before Testing” and “The Night Before My Birthday.”

Towards the end of the session, some of the students suggested she write “The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day.” So she did!

It reminds me of some fifth or sixth graders who, upon hearing that I don’t like cheese of any kind, suggested I write a book about a cheese-haters club. I just might do that.

Ideas can come from anywhere–another book, an article, something someone says or we observe, something that makes us happy or sad or angry. The important thing is to pay attention and when you feel that little niggle, that perking up that means you’re supposed to take notice–DO. That niggle or perk up is telling you that something has your attention, something that may become a great story if only you grab on and run with it.

Where have some of your ideas come from?