Nancy Cole Silverman--The Navigator’s Daughter

DEBORAH CROMBIE: What an inspiring week we're having! I've been looking forward to Nancy Cole Silverman's THE NAVIGATOR'S DAUGHTER, which debuts next Tuesday, June 7th.

It's just the sort of book to get stuck into for a good summer read, and I love her answer to the perennial, "Where do you get your ideas?" I've heard some authors get a little impatient with this question but it is always one of my favorite things to talk about, and I'm equally fascinated by other authors' answers. What could be more interesting than the magic of the creative process?

Inspiration!  From Whence Does It Come?

BY Nancy Cole Silverman

As writers, we’re always being asked where we come up with our ideas or the inspiration for a story?  For me, that initial spark can be anything; a sight, a sound, or even a smell—like a sweet perfume or the briny scent of salt air. For an instant, I get a picture in my mind’s eye, a flash of an idea that like an earworm, won’t leave me alone until I’ve put something down on paper.  

Sometimes, I describe that story-flash like the cover of a jigsaw puzzle. It comes to me briefly like a colorful picture on a box then when I sit down to write, it crumbles in front of me, as though someone has turned the box upside down and all the pieces have fallen in a mix onto my desk.  It’s then I know my job is to comb through the tabs and put the picture back together again.

That’s how the story for THE NAVIGATOR’S DAUGHTER, captured me.  I was sorting through old family photos shortly after my father passed, and I came across of picture of dad with his crew taken in Italy towards the end of the war.  Dad was a navigator/bombardier, and they were shot down over Hungary on their 13th mission.   

I had heard the story since I was a young girl, but looking at the photo, I couldn’t help but wonder about what had happened to dad and members of his crew while they were MIA? He had never told me.

Then, years ago, after the Iron Curtain fell, my dad got a letter from a young man in Hungary who said he had found my dad’s plane. Dad asked me to correspond with the man and eventually, he even asked if I might like to come to visit and see the country. Holding that letter in my hand and looking at the photo of my dad and his crew, was the spark that started me thinking...what if?

What if, is the phrase that sends me and writers like me running to the keyboard.  What about you? What is that sparks your creative thought process? 

DEBS: I LOVE this story! Nancy, you'll have to tell us if you went to Hungary. And which one of those handsome young men is your dad? I also love your image of the shattering puzzle. I've had that experience, where you suddenly get the whole book in one piece, then once you start picking apart the story it falls apart. Then, of course, you start the painstaking process of sticking it all back together.


Getting caught in the middle of an international art theft ring wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal Kat Lawson made with her dying father. But when her father receives a mysterious letter informing the former WW2 navigator/bombardier that his downed B-24 has been found and asking him to come to Hungary, Kat suspects this is all part of some senior rip-off scam. Her father insists she goes, not only to photograph the final resting place of his plane but also to find the mother and son who risked their lives to rescue him and hid him in a cave beneath an old Roman fortress. Kat’s trip uncovers not only the secrets of the cave where her father hid and of those who rescued him but a secret that will forever change the direction of her life—that is—if she can get home safely.

You can pre-order it here!

After twenty-five years in NewsTalk radio, Nancy Cole Silverman retired to write fiction. Her Carol Childs Mysteries features a single mom whose day job as a reporter at an LA radio station often leads to long nights solving crimes. Her Misty Dawn series is centered on An aging Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, who supplements her day-to-day activities as a consultant to LAPD. Silverman’s newest work, The Navigator’s Daughter, is scheduled for release June 2022. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

READERS, are you interested in where writers get their ideas?