Writers are strange creatures. They find inspiration in strange places.
Friend One: “That was a terrible thing that happened to him.”
Friend Two: “What an ironic way to die.”
Writer: “I can use that in a book.”
Not wanting it to sound like I’m exercising false humility, because it’s true—God writes my books. I’m the typist.
Inspiration is like gold. Sometimes it’s lovely and unexpected—a nugget resting on top of desert soil. Sometimes it’s hidden in gravel and discovered after traveling down the riffles in a wet or dry washer—alternatively known as the hardships of life. Sometimes it’s the streak of bright shining metal in a quartz rock—obvious, but needing to be ferreted out.
Nearly all my books are Christian cozy mystery-romances. The idea for “Body in a Tree Murder” sprang from the memory of a Texas Hill Country motorcycle accident I covered for the local newspaper. “Unsigned Card Murder” came from an incident in church where a person refused to sign a birthday card and left me wondering why. The opening paragraph for “Body from the Sky Murder” hit me when I sliced open a bell pepper and found a perfectly formed baby sitting inside. “Balloon Body Murder” fell into place after I read a newspaper article about the new Texas law that allows hunters to shoot feral hogs from balloons, and “Thawed to Death” from a news item about a body found in a freezer.
Inspiration for my newest book, “Signed to Death,” developed after I watched an antiques program on TV and had the random thought, “You could hide a body in one of those old signs.”
“Look out!” Maj yelled as the huge orange gulf gasoline sign with blue letters lumbered toward me down the slopped driveway. The warning came too late. The metal frame hit me. My feet came off the ground. I fell. So did the dead guy inside the sign.
Regardless of the initial source of inspiration for my books, the ultimate author is God. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.”
There is one thing in my books for which I take complete and total credit for—mistakes.