As a long-time writer, I have often heard the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” For me, coming up with ideas has never been an issue. I continuously find inspiration in the world around me. Perhaps this is based upon my long career as a journalist where you watch people for clues. Or perhaps it is based on my admiration for Jane Austen and her characters. It is said she started with people and situations she knew. I watch situations and observe people.
I notice that I am more observant than my friends. I can continue a conversation at a restaurant or mall yet watch the people around me. For instance, I was at the mall yesterday with my girlfriend when I noticed a woman who I thought would make an interesting character.
So, it is easy to see how my observations turn into stories. The Spoon Sisters, the heroines of the Antique Hunters Mystery series, were based on my shopping adventures with my girlfriends. It developed into a cozy mystery series from there. The first book, Murder by the Spoonful, introduces the characters. The second book, Pickin’ Murder, continues their adventures in the dangerous world of antique hunting.
I am now working with my husband on the second cozy mystery series, Neighborhood Watch. It, too, is based on a real-life character. My next door neighbor, Pat. I can’t describe her to anyone because in this case the truth is stranger than fiction. Pat, or Grandma Pat as she is known to the neighborhood, has more energy than anyone else on our block. Each morning, she delivers newspapers and mail from the curb to the doorstep. If any of the neighbors has any questions for the city, they go to Pat. She is the perfect heroine for a cozy mystery, and I can’t wait to share her adventures.
And, when you see a 60ish long bleached blonde woman garbed in white biker shorts and a white crop t-shirt, perhaps you will remember my mall trip, too.