The novels of Jeff VanderMeer come to him in visions. Of a woman on the run, having been given a key to a storage locker that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and salamander. Or a woman reaching out to a creature like a sea anemone, caught in seaweed, because it reminds her of the island of her childhood.
"As she pulled the creature away, I saw that the seaweed was actually dirty fur," recounts the American author. "Then the dirty fur moved and I saw (it was a) giant bear, fierce and horrifying and beautiful. Then the bear flew away like some kind of god, which was perhaps the most surprising thing.