One of the things I love most about being an independent writer is the creative freedom I have. I can invent any story I want without having to pitch a publisher or endure the nitpicking of my ideas by an editorial staff of marketers. In the end, it’s you the reader who votes with your dollars and with your reviews, letting me know if I have a winner or a loser.

This weekend I had a casual conversation with my wife about her first Midnight shopping experience at the mall on Thanksgiving. Our kids thought it would be fun to go to the mall to witness the madness of the frenzied turkey-fueled shoppers at the mall on Thanksgiving night. They went and they were shocked at the chaotic scene they found.

As my wife described the scene my creative juices starting flowing imagining some very specific (and not-so-fun) scenarios that could unfold at a gathering of thousands of people arriving at a particular place at a predetermined time. As we talked, the story started to bloom.

Then last night, after our first Advent dinner of the season with our family, the kids got talking about the scene at the mall again and what such rabid consumerism means for our country. My wife encouraged me to share the story concept that had been born during our conversation. As I began to describe the story, my kids started filling in details and expanding the story elements as I just sat back and listened. By the time the conversation ended, I had enough to write a pretty detailed storyboard.

So…now I’ve added a new project to my list. It will be called BLACK FRIDAY and I hope to publish it before the 2013 holiday shopping season. Thanks to my wife and kids for a killer story idea.