What happens when an idea for a book strikes and won't leave you alone? What if it's something you know nothing about? Such as banjo picking, as in the second book of my second series set in the tranquil mountain town where I live in Central California?
I heard a blue grass band and saw my fictional Detective
Stafford of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department clear as daylight. The music set my toes tapping, my mind dancing, and my little ears going ping, ping, ping with a new idea!
For Rip-Off set in Santa Monica I read Chechen newspapers in
English for three years and everything else I could find on the people in this
fascinating, war-torn country. For my third Dave Mason mystery I drove to
Riverside, some hundred plus miles away, to talk to a cop about Kurds living in
And it's just background because both books take place in Santa
I marvel at Christopher Meek's book, Love at Absolute Zero http://christophermeeks.weebly.com
We met and started talking at the Ventura County Book fair and traded books
when buyers were few. I was hooked within a few pages, couldn't wait to finish
it. One of those.
Christopher Meeks is an English professor at Santa Monica College, not
a physicist writing what he knows. You wouldn't know that reading this book.
Large dollops of quantum physics appear in digestible and even enjoyable hunks.
Meeks insisted he knew nothing about physics but he had an idea and he
learned what he needed to convince the reader he was a scientific naïf who
sets out to find his soul mate using the scientific method, within three days.
What would a storyteller do nowadays without the Internet where you can read
about your idea in ever-widening circles? And when are you simply
procrastinating the writing by contacting yet one more expert?
Part of the joy of writing mysteries is entitlement it gives you to ask nosy questions and poke your nose down all strange rat holes.
What's the strangest research quest you've ever embarked on?