Story Ideas

Story Ideas

Story Ideas


By Jonathan Byrd
 When you tell someone you’re an author or that you wrote a story, there are three responses:

  1. Are you going to publish your story? As if it were completely up to us.
  2. I have an idea for a story… Newsflash, you’re probably being mentally recorded to be a character as you speak and whether that is a villain, or a hero will depend on the idea. Also, ideas have NEVER been the problem for an author. Writing, editing, finishing, and not procrastinating are author problems.
  3. Where do you get your ideas from?

The first two responses are small talk. Automatic comments that rise to make conversation and respectfully show that you were listening. They are not serious conversation topics that authors want to engage on (unless they are procrastinating at the time). The third response is the one that will get an author’s juices flowing even when it doesn’t get them talking.

Everything is a story, or a part of one. But there is no real secret to what becomes a spark for a story. My favorite book I have read the most is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Fifty-three readings so far, and after last year’s re-reading, I found a copy in German which will make for a fun reading. Not just because my German is sehr schlecht, but because in 1978 the author, Douglas Adams, found himself in Austria drinking prodigious quantities of beer. In that inebriated state, he went up to several Austrians in succession and began speaking to them in German. Amazingly, none of them knew Deutsch. After those frustrating encounters he went and lay down in a field near Innsbruck and stared at the sky where he came up with the idea of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Don’t Panic, the Innsbruck Tourism Board is at no risk of being overwhelmed by a wave of towel-carrying pilgrims. Adams never revealed exactly where that field was before his death. But for those fans who know and want to pay homage to the man, the story, and the location, now every spot can be that spot, as there is no one to tell them they are wrong.

As I drove through Innsbruck last week, I snapped this picture. Not while driving, but at a rest stop on the side of the Autobahn. Is it the very spot that sparked my favorite book? Perhaps, perhaps not. Will it inspire me to write the next great comedic science fiction story of our times? No one can say for certain. But it did at least give me inspiration for the newsletter. A starting off spot for the adventure that writing takes us on.

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”

― Orson Scott Card

Jonathan Byrd

Jonathon Byrd


Author Jonathan Byrd is a father of three daughters, and an optimist, some might say Micawber. He was born in Biloxi and never imagined living anywhere else. However, after leaving he never imagined moving back. The more he sees of the world the more he wants to see. Currently he lives in Fairhope, Alabama, the hidden jewel of the state. While his favorite genre to write in is science fiction, he has completed and is polishing Seafood Capital of the World, a historical fiction novel set in the Prohibition Era on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When he isn’t writing he’s thinking about writing even if it looks like he’s doing something else—like work. He has an answer for everything, opinion on anything, and is quiet about nothing. Find more information about Jonathan, his novels/novellas, and his works in progress, on his website, or follow him on:


Twitter: @byrdmouse
Facebook: Jonathan Byrd
LinkedIn: Jonathan Byrd

Tolerance: A Collection of Short Stories
“Half Vast Or Time For Tolerance”
Sci-Fi (Short Story)

“Salvation Beach” Literary Fiction (Short Story)

Autumn, An Anthology
“And Then the Fall” Literary Fiction (Short Story)
“The Greatest Birthday Present Ever” Memoir (Short Story)

Spring—The Unexpected
“The Quilt” Literary Fiction (Short Story)
“The Thermostat” Literary Fiction (Short Story)



Winter—An End and a Promise
“Conspiracy” Film Noir (Short Story)
“Distance” Military Literary Fiction (Short Story)

Summer—When Doors Open
“Four Days of June” Historical Fiction

“Before the Last Battle” (Short Story)

Jonathan Byrd

An Interview with Jonathan Byrd
by Dena Linn


We hope you enjoy hearing a more about each of our authors.

Dena Linn




Each of us works hard to become the best. You need to know that making mistakes is okay—even a good thing. It’s okay to occasionally fail.

It’s also okay to let others know that you’re human, too! Messing up is inevitable, so why not embrace it, learn from it, and become a better person?

In my role as a self-published author, I offer advice on specific writing resources to utilize, all of which I’ve acquired as the result of considerable time, research and experience on my part. However, almost two years ago, I was in the final stages of finishing a novel. I made the major mistake of not reviewing the entire manuscript before sending it to KDP and publishing it. This was something I would have advised anyone in the business never to do… and there I was, doing it!

What was I thinking? Obviously, I had stopped thinking and acted.

I was very fortunate. Three friends invited me to join them on a Zoom call, less than a week after it was published. They told me, “Bring a glass of wine.”

Now I often brought a glass of wine to our critique session, but to be told to bring one… hmm, didn’t sound good.

When I signed into the call, I had pencil and paper plus the glass of wine, and rest of the bottle chilling in the frig. They very kindly told me to pull the book, NOW. Then with great kindness they told me about the typos, repeat phrases, and so much more.

I was horrified.

But I was also smart.

Wanna know why I say I was smart?

You do? You’re sure?

I was smart because I pushed my feelings aside and listened to what they were saying. They were right. I immediately pulled all the books. And I started working on a revision.

I learned a lot from that episode in my life. Or rather, the episode reinforced those things I had forgotten I’d dealt with in other ways.

I’m saying all this to tell you: the failures help to mold and shape you like potting clay on the potter’s wheel. He pinches off some clay, followed by caressing movements that smooth it out. Then it happens again, with him pulling some one way and a tiny piece another way. We might think of them as failures. And we’d be right. But they’re so much more, too. They mold and shape us into becoming who we are meant to be.

No one, deep down, understands winning until they don’t win. Oh, sure you might have the ribbon or statue or plaque to wave in everyone’s face… but you won’t appreciate it, until you experience losing.

What’s your biggest oops moment?

How did you “fix” it, and what did you learn from it?

I would love to know. Please share your experiences in the comments box.

And if you know of anyone who might benefit from this article, please forward it to them.


Kathleen Osborne

Transcendent Authors


Tolerance Anthology
Autumn-An Anthology
Spring-The Unexpected
Summer-When Doors Open
Summer-When Doors Open

Our most recent release

It’s hard to believe, after all our hard work, Deceit, our sixth book, is available to you in e-book and paperback.

AND… We have completed the Seasons Series with the release of our last book, Summer—When Doors Open. Our current book release is similar to our very first anthology, Tolerance. Our new collection is called Deceit. It contains ten stories for you to enjoy and was released in November.

Deceit… Our lives are full of deceit, from the little white lie a person might tell to a lie of omission to the world by its leaders spouting untruths. Deceit can come packaged as protection yet is actually deception meant to harm another. Countries involved in covert to overt manipulation attempting to change their status or political influence are seen every day, revealed by the press, bloggers, social influencers.

The thing is, can you trust them ? It’s the little things each of us do that prove out as either intentional, or not–how you can tell the difference?

Let the Transcendent Authors fifth book unravel deceit in its many forms.

Kathleen Osborne

Kathleen Osborne

DECEIT is here!!