Guest Post: “Where do I get my ideas from?” by S.E. Moorhead

MoorheadSE-WitnessXUK‘Where do you get your ideas from?’

It’s a question most writers will be asked at some point.

If you look around at the world, stories are everywhere — the latest news report, your grandfather’s adventures as a boy, a relationship between two famous people made public, a new type of scientific discovery that might change the lives of hundreds of people…

The very fabric of life is story — layers of events that have already happened, are presently unfurling or are yet to come, maybe. Our memories, hopes and fears are all stories.

Not only do stories form the basis of human experience, they are also currency which we use to negotiate in relationships; gossip, jokes, promises, and even commitment — when we merge our stories with others, and maybe a new story will be born.

As a writer, many of the tales I tell come from my response to the world around me. Imaginary stories are often conceived when we examine people, situations and experiences that we come across — and add the magic ingredient… WHAT IF…?

The story of Witness X started in my mind as a response to my frustration about truth. Does truth exist? Is there such a thing as objective truth or is it all coloured by our own life experiences, perceptions and emotions? How do we get to the truth when someone is trying to deliberately deceive us, particularly when justice hangs in the balance?

I added the important WHAT IF — what if the truth could be somehow extracted from a person’s brain and examined without all the confusion of the human condition? What if we could get to the truth of the matter, even if the person concerned didn’t want to — or couldn’t — give us the truth themselves — and then my story was born.


S.E. Moorhead’s Witness X is due to be published in the UK by Trapeze on February 6th, 2020. Here’s the synopsis:

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

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