Finding the right poison…for a fiction book…
Most of my ideas come from the news, true crime stories, weird stuff you just can’t make up. I just finished the draft of TO PROTECT HIS OWN. The opening scene was particularly hard for me because the Hero’s father was poisoned, but I wasn’t sure what the poison should be or how it would be best administered. I also didn’t want the father to die…just yet. So I needed something that could kill him, even weeks later, but something he could also survive. I also needed something immediate. Not something that happened over time because the kicker in this story is that the poison wasn’t meant for him, it was meant for the heroine.
When I first started writing, I bought TONS of books on writing as well resource books for writers. One of those books was BOOK OF POISONS.
The book gave me a few possible poisons to pick from, but the book is very basic, listing the poisons along with a few bullet points about reaction time, antidotes/treatments, and with some poisons, a short case study. The book doesn’t go into detail about each poison, so it required a little more research. Hello GOOGLE.
Research is interesting. Not just because you learn new things, but while sometimes you end up going down the research rabbit hole. That’s always fun. Talk about knowing a bunch of useless information… but a lot of that stuff makes for great conversations. My husband and I went to dinner with some friends the other night. He happens to be a dentist. He’s always asking me about my writing and his wife is my biggest fan. Love them both. Anyway, we got talking about all sorts of ways to kill someone. The poor people in this restaurant. But now I’ve got this idea for a killer dentist! Geez. Got to love Murder and Mayhem!