Facing the prospect of almost two months in our newly purchased mountain home in the heart of the Sierras with panoramic views and my husband and four dogs ready for morning hikes, I decided this will be the perfect time to begin my third book. The storyline, plot, and characters have been swirling around in my brain for a long time. The time to make the transition from thoughts to pages is now.
The idea for this book happened a few years ago in the most unexpected fashion. One of my good friends and doubles partners asked if I could take her place on a float.
“A float?” I brushed aside her offer, thinking, no way. But I asked anyhow.
“What kind of float?”
“Mardi Gras!” she exclaimed. “You’d love it! Great bunch of girls! I’ve been part of my husband’s law firm’s float for years, but this year I can’t make it. Some of my best friends will be on it. You – of all people – must take my place!”
Wild Mustangs couldn’t keep me off that float. I didn’t care what it took, who was on the float or what I’d look like in a purple wig, a cook’s hat and flashy gold patterned costume. I was going to take the ride of my life tossing stuffed toys, plastic beads, and crazy shit to a crowd of screaming, half-inebriated, fans from the top story of the Krewe of Iris float. I asked my husband what he thought, and of course, he went along.
First, I ordered my costume. Next, I got airline and hotel tickets. Then, I got tickets to the Krewe of Iris parties. I would be an honored guest. Finally, the best news, this new adventure, gave me the story, plotline, and characters for Book Three. It all landed right smack in my lap. My first book – Jigsaw and Jane: Thirteen Years of Murder and Mayhem with Badge Number One – started almost the same way when I read a newspaper article about the LAPD’s Badge Number One (John “Jigsaw” St. John), who’d won a medal for solving a major serial murder case. The article said this sixty-four-year-old detective had an “uncanny ability to solve complex cases.” Holy Homicide! A grandfather super sleuth! I had to meet this guy! The article grabbed my imagination and held it like a vise. I did meet Jigsaw John and rode shotgun with him for thirteen years. And – I wrote his book.
My friend’s invitation and my excitement about the Mardi Gras adventure lit my brain on fire. My next book will almost write itself, which is the idea of this post. If you ask the “what if” question, get wildly excited about the idea, get out of the way and let your imagination take you to the story – you might be surprised what happens next.