Now, it’s my turn. What to write? What to share? What to ignore?
When my husband and I moved into a new home that had a security alarm, we inadvertently activated the emergency code and were surprised when the police arrived with their guns drawn. Naturally, my suspense writer brain pictured a woman tripping an alarm and the law enforcement hero arriving on scene to check out the situation.
Currently, I’m writing a series about special agents in the US Army Criminal Investigation Division. THE OFFICER’S SECRET will be out in May 2011 and began with a fictional Army post in Georgia, two estranged siblings and a CID agent who investigates the death of a female major on post. The second book in the series, THE CAPTAIN’S MISSION, starts with a possible training accident my blond, blue-eyed CID heroine is called in to investigate.
Once the plot starts to take shape, I work on the hero and heroine’s back story and their inner conflict. Usually they are tackling similar issues, which play into the overall theme. Layers are added as I enhance the love story, increase the suspense, plant clues, add a few red herrings and drive the action to the climax. Including an act of nature—a fire, tornado, hurricane or flood--ups the tension and provides another complication.
I’m always thinking of worst case scenarios for my characters. Given two choices, I pick the one that provides more difficulty, anxiety or pain. Speaking of pain, I usually wound the hero or heroine or both. Gunshot wounds, stabbings, infections and extreme cold are some of the problems my characters have had to endure.
Since I write for the Love Inspired Suspense line, I focus on an exciting beginning, a hero or heroine in danger throughout the story, a concrete external problem that needs to be solved and internal conflicts that inhibit the characters in the beginning. During the story, they change and grow. By the end of their journey, they are able to forgive themselves and accept God’s love as well as the love of another.
|The picture was taken in my garage, but you get the idea! :)|
Often I’ll get up between 5 and 6 AM and work at my kitchen counter for two or three hours. About 9 AM, I head to church for Bible Study or some other activity followed by grocery shopping and errands. By noon or 1 PM, I’m back at work. In the late afternoon, I walk before cooking dinner, and most evenings, I’m at my computer, catching up on emails.
|The back of the previous page provides room for inserts.|
Here’s a picture of some of my favorite research books. The US Army Survival Manual (Platinum Press, Inc), A Special Forces Guide to Escape and Evasion (Will Rowler, St. Martin’s Press), The Forensic Casebook ( N.E. Genge, Ballantine Books) and Extreme Survival (Akkermans, Cook, Mattos, Morrison, JG Press) have been especially helpful for the CID series.
|Research books for the suspense writer.|
|My favorite writing snacks!|