Author of YA & Adult fiction
Elle Cosimano

The "What If?" Game


A lot of people ask me how I come up with my stories. Usually, a story idea evolves from an image, or a snippet of conversation, or while people-watching, or visiting an inspiring place. After the initial spark, my mind starts rolling with a series of “what if questions.”

The idea for The Suffering Tree came to me while chaperoning my son’s school field trip to the Westmoreland Berry Farm. As the bus rolled through winding, green country roads, we passed this peculiar scene. A handful of very old headstones were scattered around this wretched skeleton of a tree, which stood in stark contrast to the green fields and forests all around it. It was so picturesque, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I started asking myself… why? Why is the tree dead when everything around it is alive? Why has no one chopped it down? Who is buried in this small cemetery?

And then came the what ifs… What if this were a colonial plantation? What if there was a witch hunt? And a tragic love story?  What if there were zombies?

Why not? 

Here is a photo of the dead tree that inspired my current work-in-progress.

Inspiration for The Suffering Tree


26, 2010 |

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The Suffering Tree,Writing


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