Q: How do you generate story ideas, and how soon do you act on them?
A: I’m driven by curiosity. For twenty years, the same fantasy world has been living and growing inside my head. All my stories take place in this world, and I explore it through writing. Sometimes the exploration is literal, as in “What lurks over the next hill?” Other times it’s philosophical, like “How would character X react if faced with dilemma Y?” I write stories to find out.
As for when I act on them, it’s never as soon as I’d like. By day there’s the job, at night there are dogs with bellies that need to be rubbed. By necessity, I let the ideas percolate for a few days, and I jot notes as they come to me. That way, when I finally make it to the coffee shop, I’m ready to spill words onto the page.