Where Ideas Come From by Lisa Diane Kastner – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winners (three winners) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Where do ideas come from?
Now that’s a great question. Every writer I talk to has a different answer. Mine? Sometimes they come from dreams. For a novel I wrote a few years ago, I had this recurring dream of a 12 year old on her father’s shoulder as she pushed up on a ceiling tile to see what was underneath. She was curious and mischievous. She bounced on his shoulders and he told her to stop which made her want to bounce more. I wanted to see what would happen so I wrote 50 pages and discovered her world.

For JERSEY DINER, I was curious about the impetus for someone to have a crush on a celebrity and what that person would do. I had been on a syndicated show, Dance Party USA when I was a teenager and I had a few fans who found out my phone number and address and visited me. At the time I was too naïve to understand that this was odd behavior. And of course I had my own crushes. I wanted to write from a point of view I hadn’t seen before so I decided to write from the perspective of someone (Lauren) who has a pretty significant celebrity crush and have her face-to-face with the object of her desires.

For a novella series I’m currently writing NEWLY MINTED WINGS AND SALTY FRENCH FRIES, I was at Yale Writer’s Conference and was given a prompt. I free-wrote the initial eight pages and decided what I wrote was really interesting. So I kept writing. After about 25 pages, I mapped out the characters and their storylines.

Other times my own life experiences are the prompt. I have a memoir short story about when I was in the hospital as a child. Based on that, I wrote the short story THE GIFT, which was subsequently published.

I have friends who write based on world events or family fables. In the end, we write what inspires us. The prompt could be a flower, a tree, being stuck in traffic, a bad day, a sunset, a toaster, or if you’re Rick Springfield your inspired by your best friend’s girlfriend and the feelings you have for her (Jessie’s Girl).

No matter the inspiration for our ideas, it’s the wonder of the story and where it will go that keeps us pursuing them.

Lauren has a dead end job as a waitress at the Oaklyn Diner. She becomes ecstatic when the diner is chosen to be the focal point of an upcoming movie, *Jersey Diner,* starring Jonathan
Pearce. When filming ends she moves to California to start a new life with him. Lauren quickly discovers that all that she thought was real and true are in question.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Here’s a copy of the script, read through it and then go over the scenes with the girl.”

“I can try. I never acted so I don’t know how much of a help I’ll be.”

He plopped it into my arms. The script weighed more than a stacked tray.

“This isn’t about acting. It’s about realism. That’s why we need your help. You’re a real waitress and this one just doesn’t get it.” He smirked. “If I could get ten cents for every time one of these actresses thought they could feel their way through a part. I’d be a zillionaire. Then give me a dime for every time they were wrong. Oh. I’d be …” He stopped. “Start reading.”

I had opened the cover and started flipping through the pages.

“Good. I knew you’d be the right person for the job. We’ll pay you for your time. You can be our ‘Resident Expert on Serving.’ Ya know, like a martial arts expert.”


About the Author:

Lisa is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery.

She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. (www.pennwriters.com). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award.

Lisa presented at a TEDx in Seattle on The Power of Connecting. And presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) on the “You Sent Us What?” panel.

Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey The Redness migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously encourage and engage in little sparks of anarchy.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Lisa Brown says:

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  3. James Robert says:

    Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway as well.

  4. Audrey Stewart says:

    I love this cover. I also love all I have read so far, and really want to read this book.

  5. Astilbe says:

    I love hearing about authors get their ideas from. This was a good post.

    Congratulations on your new book!

  6. Thank you for hosting.

  7. Victoria says:

    Great post – sounds like my kind of book! 🙂

  8. I remember DANCE PARTY USA! I always wondered if Princess ever got to meet Prince and finally remove the teardrop on her face…


  9. Gwendolyn Jordan says:

    Love the cover

  10. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

  11. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  12. What is your favorite color?

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