Paul Kearney, author of The Ten Thousand, was interviewed over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.
I hammered my head against a wall for about a week, walked the dogs on the beach a lot, and stared into space for inordinate amounts of time, trying not to think of anything in particular – it’s then that the ideas come. If you sit at your desk staring at a blinking cursor, nothing good is ever going to arrive. It’s happenstance, luck, some form of peculiar mental alchemy. I don’t really know. I just know, that when I needed it, the idea arrived.
It was the first line – it popped into my head, and I liked it, and so wrote a paragraph. Then I had a couple of beers, thought about it, and wrote the whole first chapter at one sitting. Which is probably still the best chapter in the book. After that, the mental sluice gates were open, and I could get on with it.