An idea for a presentation hit me when I was at a meeting of my chapter of Sisters in Crime, and I asked if I could be a future speaker. Obviously the president and program chair agreed.
This past Saturday I spoke to a wonderful group of Sisters and two Misters about where I got the ideas for my books.
I brought one copy of most of my books (those I had on hand) and put them on a table in the order they came in my two series--and I brought 2 other books as well. Lingering Spirit because it's based (loosely) on the death of my police officer son-in-law who got me started writing about law enforcement.
The other non-series book was the first mystery I wrote that was published, The Astral Gift. I lifted it from life too. No I never astral projected, no Internet to research at the time I wrote it, but I found several books on the subject, and it fit right into my story.
I continued on with the Rocky Bluff P.D. series that I write as F. M. Meredith, beginning with the newly edited and re-published Final Respects. At the moment it has two covers. Bits and pieces of this plot came from my son-in-law's stories he told me and also the fact that my daughter who was about 10 at the time had a friend whose family owned a mortuary. Daughter and the three daughters of the mortuary owner played hide'n seek in the mortuary among the dead bodies.
Several of the books I talked about, plot ideas came from speakers who'd come to visit our chapter.
It was so much fun recalling where the ideas came from for each of these books, and then I did the same with my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.
The audience was great and we all laughed a lot. After I was done I sold a lot of the books I'd talked about.
I belong to three chapters of Sisters in Crime, this one, the L.A. chapter, and the Central Coast Chapter. I'm one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter and it's the closest so I attend most of their meetings. I participate with the Central Coast chapter any chance I can get because I have many friends in that chapter--plus it's on the coast. I haven't been to an L.A. chapter meeting in years--just too far, but I love their newsletter and listserve.
It was a great day for me, and everyone seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.
(I don't have any photos--my daughter usually takes one, but she said she got to caught up in my stories she forgot.)