Here's how I got the idea for some of my novels:
I discovered that serial poisoner, Mary Ann Cotton had spent the early years of her life just around the corner from my grandma's house. When I read more about her and discovered she murdered husbands, children and step-children then gave birth to another child in prison I thought what if a childless woman became obsessed with trying to understand why someone would murder their own children.
THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER:
My parents and grandparents lived in an area of Durham County UK that had been the centre of coal mining. On a visit there in the 1980's I was amazed to see the mines had all shut down and there was little to no trace of the industrial landscape left. All I could see was greenery. A new outdoor museum had been opened at Beamish and some of the old streets and mines were transplanted there. So begins the story, They put Rita's house into a museum...
THE FOREVER ONES:
I'd always been fascinated by the research being done on telomeres and their influence on ageing. I wrote a TV pilot, a full length feature screenplay than I was sitting at a coffee shop looking out the window and I saw this amazing mural but this was on a grey, slushy day:
That's how the first chapter was born and it took off from there!
It's always good to carry a notebook or use your phone to take pics just in case one of these ideas comes to you. Write it down. You're bound to forget it!