For me, crafting a story even fiction begins with research. Perhaps it is a remnant of my days as a news reporter. Anne and CC, my heroines in Murder by the Spoonful, were based on my friends’ and my weekly shopping excursions to various antique malls, estate sales and flea markets. Throughout the years, I scoured the sales with my friends, not realizing that it would turn into the idea for my first cozy mystery while buying a trinket or two along the way.
With the first book finished, Anne and CC remained in my head. Their voices fought through the science fiction novel that my husband and I were supposed to be writing.
it was time to decide where to base the next book. A road trip was in order both for my fictional characters and myself. My husband and I traveled down south to research settings for the next Antique Hunters Mystery. I feel that for me it helps to visualize the area if I have been there in person.
On the drive to Nashville, I read the proof copy of Murder by the Spoonful aloud while he drove so we could review and make any changes. That made the miles fly by. We were in Kentucky before we knew it. We plotted our trip as carefully as we plot the Antique Hunters Mystery. The trip was full of adventures from hiking to seeing the second largest waterfall in the country to gem mining to boot shopping.
We planned various locations for Anne and CC to visit and took pictures so we could recall them when we are working on book 2. Of course, this included making several stops at various antique stores. And, I’m not going to lie some items did find their way to my house. Below is a sample of our finds.
This trip gave me the opportunity to talk to antique dealers about what antiques are popular in their areas and led to many ideas of what Anne and CC will encounter on their road trip.