People always ask me where I get my ideas from for my villains or the things my villains do to my hero and heroine. My answer is always the same…from real life.
One way the villain tries to injure the hero and heroine in To Protect His Own is by using rattlesnakes. Not a very effective way to try to kill someone, but its been tried before…
In 1935, Robert James wanted to kill his wife in a way that would be viewed as an accident. This is actually a very sad, but comedic murder. Robert’s wife Mary was pregnant, but agreed to have an illegal abortion. One should note that it was believed that Robert drowned one of his previous wives. Anyway, she was told she had to be blindfolded then the Robert’s hired hand stuck Mary’s foot in a box with a rattlesnake, that bit her…but she didn’t die. So Robert had to drown her then left her in his lily pond in the garden. The death was originally considered a suicide by drowning, but after an anonymous letter Mary’s corpse was exhumed and traces of the rattlesnakes venom had been discovered. Robert was lated executed for his crime.
So there you have it…death by rattlesnake…
The theme here is where there is murder…there is love…
I know. Odd, but in my fictional world, its a reality. But sometimes a murder or death in a book isn’t what I had planned. Wasn’t in the plot, but becomes a moral imperative.
The first time this happened was in Rekindled. When Kaylee returned home, her father hadn’t been murdered and the opening scene wasn’t her standing over his dead body and her ex-husband, Blaine, the Assistance Chief of Police isn’t about to arrest her…nope.
I wrote this book during #NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) and when I hit 50k words at the end of the month I went, huh, my heroine could have left at any time and there was no reason for my hero to even have anything to do with her…no conflict. Bummer. Hate it when that happens.
I was ready to send the manuscript to the shredder when it hit me: What if the one person who had offered to help her out of her sticky situation was now dead and she was the best suspect?” I didn’t expect there to be a murder in Rekindled.
My writing process has changed over the years. I’m pretty much a plotter with closet case tendencies to pants my way through it. Meaning, I usually know the end, its a matter of figuring out how to get there. But every single time I write a book, something very unexpected thing happens. I was a little shocked at who ‘done it’ when I finished the draft of To Protect His Own (available for pre-order and also you can enter to win a free Print copy at Goodreads!)
Now that the draft of that book is done, I’m on to number 6 in the New York State Trooper Series. It has no title right now. Just “Josh’s Story”. Interesting thing though, the heroine isn’t who she says she is which puts our State Trooper in a very compromising situation and as of right now, no murder. But lets where where the draft takes me… Also, I could use title help, so feel free to toss some out there. The basic premise is: What if the woman you’re sleeping was hired to ruin your career and reputation?
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!