There are some writers whose work I follow even if I don't read all of their books. One such has been Joyce Maynard where I got my start with her years back when she wrote a weekly newspaper column about her life (forerunner to blogs). She evidently revealed more than was comfortable to her family; and when her marriage broke up, she ended the column.
She again appeared in the news for her book regarding her relationship with J.D Salinger when she had been in college and they became lovers for a time. Some condemned her for the book feeling she invaded the famous recluse's privacy. Sorry but it was her life also, and I think she had every right to tell her story. Now that he has died, there are more such stories out there as people try to piece together who this man was-- more than who the women were.
Maynard is still writing best selling fiction, living a creative life, recently got married, has a blog, as well as does writing workshops. In the link below, she wrote about her most recent book, due out in August, and the inspiration behind it. I thought prospective writers here might find the story interesting.
Ideas for books come from so many things and if you are wanting to be a writer but have yet to find the inspiration, definitely newspaper stories are one possibility. It naturally takes more than one story to get a book but it can be a start along with research.
She also discusses the importance of sales even to a writer who has been out a long while. Sales gets her books onto the NY Times lists. Sales get an indie writer onto Amazon's lists of books. It's all about sales as sales lead to sales. With her book, Labor Day, having a film coming out this year starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, you wouldn't think it'd be an issue for her but it obviously is.