Monday, April 25, 2016

Ripped from the Headlines— Current Events and Fictional Stories




Maybe it’s macabre, but I think real crime stories are a gold mine for fictional story ideas. I get a lot of ideas from current events and from true crime programs like Cold Case Files and Forensic Files.

In my Cold Case Justice series (Drawing Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat), I drew not only from true crime programs, but also from the FBI official website: www.FBI.gov. Real life is a treasure trove of ideas for fictional crimes and criminals.

Creating a Realistic Protagonist

The character of Brinna Caruso (Critical Pursuit, Visible Threat) came to me after reading an article about a twenty-year-old cold case.

The article, “Miracle Rescue,” told the story of a six-year-old girl who was abducted, raped, and left in the desert to die. She was found by a sheriff’s search helicopter, shackled to a railroad tie at the entrance to a mine shaft. The story was an anniversary piece; it had been twenty years since the little girl was rescued. The perpetrator was never caught.

What impressed me about the story was the profile of the now-adult victim. The woman had not let the tragically cruel event define her or destroy her life. She was living on the East Coast and was in college studying law and planning on becoming a prosecutor. She refused to be a victim; she was a survivor.

My character, K-9 Officer Brinna Caruso, was born after I read that article. I wanted her to be a strong, sure adult in spite of tragedy in her past. She went through the toughest thing imaginable at a young age, similar to the real-life story, and grew up strong and focused because of it. In the book Critical Pursuit she’s earned the nickname “Kid Crusader” because she fights to protect youngsters.

Shaping a Struggling Victim



In my latest book, Burning Proof, Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy help solve a cold case involving a young woman who, ten years previous, was abducted from a bus stop and raped. She barely escaped with her life.

The idea was drawn from a true-crime cold case episode of a predator stalking young girls in the San Diego area. He killed two women, if I remember right, and abducted a third, but she was able to free herself from the trunk of his car and was rescued.

Despite a good description of the attacker, the case went cold, largely because the suspect moved out of state. It was only solved several years later when the bad guy was caught back east doing the same thing: abducting women, raping them, then killing and dumping the bodies. Once caught, he confessed to the killings in California and to kidnapping the one who got away.

Molly, my victim in Burning Proof, was the one who got away. Ten years later, the case is cold, and she is struggling with PTSD . . . and the fact that her attacker was never caught.

The villain in this book stopped committing crimes for a different reason than the real-life bad guy. He shipped out to Iraq right after Molly got away, working as a truck driver for a civilian contractor. While in Iraq, he is involved in a crash that paralyzes him from the waist down.

It’s up to Abby and Luke to put the pieces together and figure out who perpetrated Molly’s kidnapping.

Crafting a Formidable Villain

The bad guy in Catching Heat, which will release in September, was drawn from a couple of different sources. The first was the story of John List. In 1971 he killed his whole family—wife, mother, and three kids—then disappeared. Nearly twenty years later, after a broadcast of America’s Most Wanted, this killer was apprehended living in a different state, married to another woman under a different name. He eventually died in prison.

The second incident was another family massacre, this time in Florida in 2001. The suspect, Robert William Fischer, killed his wife and children, set his house on fire, and disappeared. He is still missing and is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Without giving away any spoilers, I played the what-if game and wondered how these men were able to do what they did and disappear to live new lives. This creates a smart villain, one living in plain sight, probably staying just one step ahead of the law in today’s technology-heavy world, with cameras, computers, social media, etc.

Add dedicated law enforcement agents, determined to solve the crime, and you have a good thriller.

Unfortunately, the best thing about crimes and headlines is that there is never a shortage of material.

Just this weekend a house in a small rural community close to me exploded in a blast so strong, windows in nearby houses blew out. The headline the next day was “Somebody was trying to kill us.” The homeowner claims the blast was intentional, and that if he and his wife had been home, they’d be dead.

Oh, now to dig into this story and play the what-if game.









Do you writers ever get story ideas ripped from the headlines? I'd love to hear about it!










Janice Cantore is a police officer turned writer. She retired from the Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach California after 22 years, 16 in uniform, 6 as a non-career employee. Janice worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform, Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called "Cop and Christ", and another for the monthly magazine "Today's Christian Woman."

Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.She is currently writing romantic suspense for Tyndale House, and her most recent release is Burning Proof 



Burning Proof

After months of investigating the brutal homicide of a young girl, Detective Abby Hart finally has the evidence she needs. But when the arrest goes terribly wrong, Abby begins to doubt her future as a police officer. As she wrestles with conflicting emotions, old questions about the fire that took her parents’ lives come back to haunt her.

“There is proof.” PI Luke Murphy can’t stop thinking about what Abby’s former partner, Asa Foster, mumbled just before he died. When he uncovers a clue to the murder of Abby’s parents and his uncle, he’s reluctant to tell Abby, despite his growing feelings for the beautiful detective.


A decade-old abduction case brings Luke and Abby together, but will his secret tear them apart?


Janice is offering a terrific giveaway today! Three commenters will win a copy of Burning Proof, and one additional commenter will win a Janice Cantore book of choice. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition!

105 comments :

  1. I have a "think" file where I store newspaper clippings, etc. I also watch those documentary shows. Your article is reassuring that I'm on the right track.

    Coffee is brewing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can see how news headlines or even bylines can catch onto or inspire authors' creative juices. Especially crime related. I personally love going through historical archives to see how lives were years ago. And when in combination, great sparks!

    Thanks for the article and the giveaway. Count me in!

    Helen! Coffee is much appreciated. Come morning, I'll need it since I'm staying up later than usual. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love suspense books that are almost like reading today's news stories. For me, it makes them more real and believable. I've just started a book where the heroine is dealing with PTSD due to what she saw over in Afghanistan. While I've never dealt with it, the author portrays what it must feel like to be that person and how the world around them is different from what I experience. So maybe I can have a better understanding of real people around me who have to live through it in everyday life. I love when I can relate to characters or sympathize with them like that!

    I can see where today's headlines are fodder for writers such as yourself Janice! Your books sound really good & ones I'd enjoy very much. Thank you for the generous giveaway this week. Please add my name to the hat!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome, Janice! So excited to have you here. Love, love, love your covers and how they all connect with tone and image.

    I have to admit, I haven't taken advantage of headlines like I should. I do use a lot of ideas from magazine however.

    Must start training myself to be more aware of the news and writing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a clippings file, too, Helen. It's a recipe box. I put in snippets of conversation and stuff I cut from magazines and ideas. I try to date each one.

    I recently went through it after letting it sit on the shelf for too long and was amazed at the good stuff in there, especially conversation bits!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Janice:

    I just have to ask: since, 'cantore,' means 'storyteller' in Italian, is this a pen name?

    I was in the K9 in the Air Force so I want to read "Critical Pursuit" first of all your books. Did you work with the dogs?

    I did rip a story from the headlines to write a full plot for a romance in a plotting class. It was about an infant found in a dumpster. I wondered what would happen to that little girl. How she discovered the truth as a youngster and how she thought her real parents considered her to be garbage. She had lots of issues. I thought it made a good story.

    Please enter me into the drawing for a Kindle version of your book if that is possible.

    Vince:

    ReplyDelete
  7. I take from headlines all the time, Janice. I see a headline and I think what if??? And I did that very thing this weekend, a story spun twenty-five years after the initial headline, and what the characters would be doing and why.

    I am often inspired that way, and when I told two of my girls the story idea yesterday, they exchanged looks and said... "Yeah, when I heard that news report? Nothing in my head went to THAT..."

    Writer's brains are odd things! The "what ifs" and "whys" are a huge component.

    These books look amazing! I love romantic suspense, (I don't write it, I scare myself, I'm a total baby when it comes to scary things and then I can't get them out of my head) but I can take that same headline and create that "next" story with the human details and emotions, minus the suspense thread.

    And unfortunately you're right, there are way too many headlines out there!

    Thank you for being here today! I'm adding these to my TBR pile!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trixi, I agree. There's something more immediate about things set today, although I can still read Rebecca and want to reach into the book and fix things for the new Mrs. DeWinter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I kept clippings for years.... and then I could never find them.

    They're buried somewhere, no doubt.

    I could use some of Helen's and Tina's organizational skills!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Welcome Janice! I enjoyed your post. I love reading suspense novels and I have often been reminded of something I had heard in the news in the past. At the time I wondered if the author based the story on the real crime story. Now I know that just might have been the case.

    I have often looked at a headline and wondered what if. In fact it doesn't always have to be a crime headline, it can be something in general that catches my eye and imagination.

    I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Janice, welcome to Seekerville! I get story ideas from the news and sermons. I love to play the what if game. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I'd love to be in the drawing. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love a good mystery. I admire those who write them and can keep the reader guessing!
    I'd love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Welcome, Janice! I enjoyed reading your post.
    Many of my story ideas come from photographs from the newspaper, magazines and online.
    I also have a folder filled with "How we meet" stories from our local paper.
    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Janice, what fun! In a macabre sort of way. I'd love to do suspense and mystery at some point in this journey. It's what I gravitate to in my personal reading. I'm not ready to write them yet because the plots are so complex, but they are on my radar.
    I don't rip things from the headlines right now because my headlines are 200 years old (I do historicals).
    But I do love to play the "what if" game. I think all writers do.
    Kathy Bailey
    Speculating in New Hampshire

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Janice! Congratulations on your release of BURNING PROOF. It sounds intense!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I used something from the headline in the first book I attempted and that is still being edited and revised. In my case the main characters are an ER doctor and ER nurse.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, Vince, I didn't know Cantore meant storyteller. You always seem to add something amazing to our commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cindy W, we writers seem to be wired differently than the rest of the world. We are always staring into space thinking..WHAT IF.....

    ReplyDelete
  19. There you have it. Jackie agrees. Jackie, I tend to get my story themes from sermons.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Suspense is probably my favorite genre to read and some of my favorite TV shows fall into this category, as well. I know in our local newspaper, the headlines occasionally sound stranger than fiction. Thanks so much for sharing, Janice!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Welcome JANICE! I'm a long-time clippings person, too--and sometimes sit down and go through my "stash" for inspiration--a time of "what if" and thinking about how combining the various clippings could make for a solid story line.

    So neat that your professional background brings added authenticity to what you write!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kate you are in the drawing!! Thanks for stopping by this morning.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jill, I love that..a how we met file.

    Okay, so am I the only person who didn't know there is a missed connections site on Craig's List? Doesn't that just beg for stories?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kathy Bailey, what's wrong with using headlines from 200 year old newspapers?? Can you do that?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Janice, thanks so much for visiting with us today! This is interesting stuff! I don't write suspense or crime stories, but I've always been a fan of shows like CSI and NCIS. Yes, I know that they aren't always realistic, but it's fun speculating who the guilty party is and how the crime will be solved.

    Years ago, I was fascinated with the Charles Manson story and read Helter Skelter. Really, really disturbing!!!! Interesting that one of the women has been in the news lately hoping (again) for parole.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Speaking of clippings, I have a whole file drawer full of them! I really should make better use of it. Some of them date back to the '80s.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Janice, I loved Drawing Fire and your blog post today. I write suspense and romantic suspense so you've given me some great ideas for my WIPs. I'm the wife of a law enforcement officer so I can attest to true life being crazier than fiction. In one of my stories, I had to research wives shooting their husbands and oh wow, was there a plethora of true stories out there.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't believe how often I read something and think, "Oh that's gotta go in a book."
    Great post, Janice.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Janice Welcome to Seekerville and thanks for the great post. What a great background you have for writing suspense and crime stories. It surely helps to have all that experience so that your stories are believable.

    Thanks for sharing all the tips. I've obtained many plot twist ideas from real news. That is what I love about writers. They are always paying attention to what is around them.

    Thanks again for sharing and have fun today.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey Helen Thanks for bringing coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Vince Your story idea gives me chills. Now you have me wondering what happened to her.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Jill Love the "how we meet" file from the newspaper. What a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Doesn't Burning Proof look fantastic, Caryl! You are in the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. BTW, our hostess is on PST, so it's not quite morning there. She'll be by after her first cup of wake up!

    ReplyDelete
  35. WOW! Wilani, tell us a tiny bit more about your story line. This is right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well not only do writers pay attention to what is going on around them, we are like Mary mentioned. Our minds start traveling into the "that must go in a book mode." Toooo funny.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey Tina You're up bright and early, Miss Night Owl. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Janice, great post! I would love to win one of your books!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Myra! Time to pull out those clippings. Fodder for some novellas per chance.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sharee, you're already a jump ahead on the Janice Cantore reading. I'm playing catch up here. Wow, you have your own resource living with you! Lucky you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sharee, can you point me to the ones that got away with it???

    I'm asking for a friend!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Here's what happened in the headlines I referred to earlier. Two men were fighting. One man stabbed the other, In the short minutes before he died the other man bit off the nose of his attacker. I know sort of gross. But I thought it was unique and very indicative of what you might have come in the ER.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Whoooooaaa! Wilani!

    Here's a tidbit. When I worked in hospitals, we would get admits from ER in the middle of the night to our floor. I worked night shift always. We always called Friday nights, the meeting of the Knife and Gun club, as typically that's what we saw. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. HEY, JANICE, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!!

    And, WOW, I love where you get your ideas. I admit that I don't have a clipping file, but you've inspired me to start one, so THANK YOU!!

    I know Ruthy pulls her ideas from headlines all the time, but I'm sad to say I've never done that, maybe because my stories are more focused on the romance than the women's fiction tone of books. I really need to start, however, because one can only have so many jaded pasts, love triangles, and illegitimate kids, right??? ;)

    LOL, VINCE, only you would come up with that fascinating info on Janice's name, my friend. And you were in the K9 in the service? VERY cool!! Do you have a dog and if so, what kind and what name?

    Janice, I know suspense/mystery stories like yours are realllllly hot right now, so do you know if Hallmark is looking for books like yours for their new mystery movie channel? If so, have you or your publisher considered submitting any of your books?

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh Wilani That is rather gross. But it will sure grab the reader's attention in your wip.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Edwina Good to see you in the morning here. What time is it on your side of the globe? I usually catch your comments the next day because it is usually night here when day there. I think.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh Tina You could use that club in a book for sure. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Janice, I imagine with your law enforcement background you're able to surmise a lot from the real-life crime stories you read. :) I have found a few headlines and stories that got sparks flying in my mind for possible books. Real life is sometimes stranger than fiction, and we can use real life events to enhance our stories. I love how you have crafted villains and other characters through things you have read.

    I've cut and pasted online stories and put them in my story spark folder to refer to and to use in stories.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sharee Your comment reminds me of Mary's story about the husband tree. I loved that story. Which one was it Mary? One of your earlier ones, but that opening scene really grabbed me when the heroine was burying her husband under the husband tree where she had buried all her other husbands. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thank you to all the commenters! I feel way behind! Way up there Vince mentioned my last name, it actually means singer, not storyteller.

    ReplyDelete
  51. To Julie Lessman -thanks for the welcome! my dream would be a movie made from one of my books. So far, no luck.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tina, thank you for the welcome.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  53. And Vince, thank you for the kind words. No, I never worked with dogs, I dated a dog handler, saw a lot of their training.


    Janice

    ReplyDelete

  54. Well singer or storyteller, it's good to have another paisano in the group.

    I'm Italian. Tina Russo Radcliffe

    ReplyDelete
  55. THAT IS WHY JANICE CANTORE NOVELS ARE ON MY KEEPER SHELF. I suppose that's really because she's a good storyteller. I'd love to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Edwina, thank you! I hope you do win


    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  57. Jeanne T I try to inject a lot of correct procedure, at least from the perspective of law enforcement in Long Beach (every department is a little different) but there is a line to walk, people are so used to thing happening fast, I love NCIS (go Gibbs!) but nothing in real life happened as fast as on that show. Real life is boring and heaven forbid a book be boring. So the truth is stretched a bit.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  58. Myra re Charles Manson, I read Helter Skelter when I was in high school, scared me to death! I remember double checking all the locks even after my parents went to bed!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks Tina - ever been to Italy?

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  60. JANICE, welcome to Seekerville! Your books look and sound great. You've had the perfect background for making your crime stories realistic. I don't write suspense/thrillers, since like Ruthy, I would have trouble getting the scary stuff out of my head. How did you cope with tragedy when you were a police officer? Were you able to leave work at work?

    I collect clippings of interesting historical articles that can trigger or flesh out a story idea. I may never use most of them, but I'm prepared just in case.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  61. GLYNNA, I found Claiming the Single Mom's Heart in Walmart yesterday and started reading it last night. Loads of conflict between the hero and heroine. I can't wait to see what happens next!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  62. Myra, Helter Skelter was on my book club list, the only reason I read it. Just hearing those words conjures it all up.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thanks Janet! Tragedy as a PO? Everyone deals with it differently, that is for sure. I first dealt with it by trying to be one of the guys, you know, black humor, us vs them mentality, but I was convicted about what I was called to as a Christian. It's not to step back, it's to pray and offer hope when appropriate. I wasn't alway right on, but I tried to be a good witness. And, yes, I did leave work at work

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  64. Real life does give writers a ton of material. One thing I love about fiction is that we can write good endings to real life bad stories. Not necessarily happy endings, but ones with closure. I need to read Janice's books - they sound like they are right up my reading alley! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Janice, I stepped into Italy once while on a bus tour while I was in the Army stationed in Germany. So sadly, while I got to explore, Germany, Holland and a bit of France I never did Italy justice. That is on my bucket list. My dad is Napoleatan, and my mom is Sicilian, so two stops at least and then Tuscany!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Well, Marianne, I should have known you would already be way ahead of me on the Janice Cantore reading marathon. I am playing catch-up!

    Don't you love that all the covers are tied together! And that guy on the cover isn't too hard on the eyes!!!

    Janice, what kind of input do you have with your covers?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Oh, I love Janice Cantore's books and have been looking forward to reading this one. One can tell that Janice brings personal experience and knowledge to the table in her novels. Her books are just as much mystery as suspense. Best of all there is no in-your-face villain viewpoint! We get to find out who the bad guy is when the main characters do.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

    ReplyDelete
  68. Tina, I don't have a lot of input, but that doesn't bother me because Tyndale usually comes up with great ones. They usually ask me who the characters look like in my minds eye and then show me what they've got and I've liked everything they've done.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sylvia, thank you very much for the kind words!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  70. Janice, I'm interested in knowing what's next for you. When does your last book release and have you started a new series yet? Any peeks into what that might be??

    ReplyDelete
  71. HI JANICE! Amazing book covers and storylines. I admire people in law enforcement, counseling, medical, etc., who deal with crime victims. Thank you for having been there when others needed you.

    I don't write stories ripped from the headlines (1880s), but oh my goodness have I gotten some super ideas from the local articles and -- of all things -- the advertisements of that time period. One discovery is that there was not nearly the violence in the 'old west' as viewers of TV and movies have been led to believe. Hmm. Maybe I should write a story about that :-)

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
  72. A new suspense author to read!!! YAY!

    Thanks, Janice, for being with us today. Your stories sound wonderful. And you're a real cop so they have to be accurate as far as police procedure goes. Love that!!!

    Have to ask, you mentioned your years in law enforcement: "16 in uniform, 6 as a non-career employee." Could you explain the non-career employee part?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Janice, any resource books on law enforcement that you would recommend for suspense writers?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Janice is a new to me author, but I'm looking forward to reading her books. I have also been told you can use the old romantic comics that don't have copyrights to develop your writings.

    ReplyDelete
  75. BTW, Tina and I have attended the Writers' Police Academy. Have you heard of it? Hosted by a retired cop. Lots of law enforcement experts are on the faculty of the Thursday to Sunday event. Hands-on opportunities at an official Police Academy. I learned so much and loved every minute. I'm sure Tina will agree. Such a wonderful opportunity for those of us interested in getting the facts right. :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. Yes. www.writerspoliceacademy.com would love to see Janice teaching there!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I love using headlines and documentaries. Thanks for a great post!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Yes. Dana!! The history channel has great documentaries on the FBI and other agencies that are terrific help. They discuss cases as well.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Failed to mention that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, my local rag, is packed with story fodder.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Tina, I'm working on a proposal now for a new series set in Oregon where I now live. Just sent a draft to my agent!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  81. Debbie, nothing specific to police work, but one writing resource that I have found very helpful is Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. The only other resource would be to read a lot of suspense novels!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  82. Debby, I have heard of the Writer's Police Academy, my friend DiAnn Mills attended, I believe. It sounds like a great learning experience.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  83. Debby, the non career part...I retired with a disability, hurt my back, after 16 years. The department hired me back in a part time non career position to write training and policy. That is what that means.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  84. Dana, thanks for reading!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  85. Wonderful, Janice. Oregon is a great locale. Looking forward to and now off to check out the craft book you recommended. Craft book junkies unite!!!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Very interesting post, Janice. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction, so you can't go wrong with real life events. The Law and Order TV show has done that a lot.

    I love reading suspense. Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thanks for stopping by Sandy!

    Janice

    ReplyDelete

  88. Hi Janice:


    You are right about 'cantore' having the meaning of 'singer'. It also can mean poet or bard, and storyteller. (Se mi arrendo, l'umanità perderà il suo cantore. Eng: If I do give up, then mankind will lose its storyteller.)

    I think the word evolution of 'cantore' goes back to the birth of storytelling -- from campfire tales up to the heroic epics. To make these epics easier to remember they were often put into verse. Being in verse I can see them being chanted at times to better entertain the audience. (They might have been recited in a sing-song type of cadence which could have led to the creation of chanting.) I think this chanting then could have evolved into singing.

    Anyway this is just me having fun playing with what I call speculative 'word archeology'.

    I do think "Cantore" is a wonderful name for a novelist given all its meanings.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  89. Vince, thanks so much! Love the quote.

    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Julie:

    We've had two dogs, both Lhasa Apsos. Each lived to be 13 years old. There was two years between when we had no dog. Their names were Plato and Aristotle. We no longer have a dog as it has become too painful to lose them. (And at this stage of life, they might out live us.)

    I've always loved dogs and really enjoyed my job working with and training the military dogs.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  91. Sorry about your injury! Thanks for explaining non-career. Also for the resource title!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi Sandra:

    That baby was adopted and when she became a troubled child her parents thought she was possessed and brought her back to Child Services. Then followed a series of bad foster homes. At some point she discovered that she was a dumpster baby. (If I remember right the dumpster was behind a Von's in Long Beach.) There were several in the news about that time.

    Her self-image was very bad but she was beautiful and the right man, a minister, brought her into the faith. (He discovered her crying next to the very dumpster where she was found years ago.) She was very intelligent and became a lawyer who devoted her life to defending children in court like NACC does. She got free tuition because her husband was an employee/chaplain for the college.

    She defends one little girl who was abused, falls in love with her, and adopts her. In the epilogue, a year later, our heroine finally becomes pregnant. She has a little boy, a junior, for her husband.

    So now you know what happened to her. Of course, this is fiction. :)

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  93. JANICE, I'm sure you impacted many with your prayers and quiet witness, probably more than you'll ever know. Nice that crimes for you these day are fictional.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  94. Janice, Your book series sounds intriguing! And who better to write crime fiction than a retired cop! To join in on the discussion, I have used articles at times while researching for my writing. One instance that comes to mind relates to a current WIP in which a pregnant woman goes into a comma. While searching online to see if it was even possible for a comatose woman to give birth, I ran across several articles in which this actually happened. Besides articles, I've also watched youtube videos, visited people's blogs, and even read/skimmed scientific abstracts and articles to get information and ideas. Everyone knows the saying: Truth is stranger than fiction, so I guess we should all be capitalizing on that fact, right? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  95. Lara, you sound like me. For research for one book, I joined online chats to listen to people with a disease I was talking about talk about the reality of the impact of the disease, so I could write authentically and sensitively.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Janice, Thank you for the post. When I was researching my last WIP, I found an online newspaper article that I loved so much, it became the basis for a fictional scene.

    Do you have any online sites that you go to more often than others? I know people have mentioned The History Channel and their local newspapers in the comments, but I was just wondering if there were some sites that were also more likely to have real information.

    Thanks for the post. I always love articles about research.

    ReplyDelete
  97. JANICE ... saying a prayer for you to get a movie, girlfriend!!

    VINCE SAID: "Their names were Plato and Aristotle." OMG ... those names for your dogs were SOOO perfect for you, Vince, a man I always think of as a philosopher!! And I hear you on the dogs outliving us at this age. Keith and I had two goldens, and we refuse to get another dog because we like to be able to pick up and leave, and dogs tie you down.

    Hugs!!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  98. I've collected newspaper articles for years. Abandoned baby stories always caught my imagination because I'd been adopted. Crimes where a baby is left orphaned interested me as well. One clipping I remember from my high school days had a young woman with a baby disappearing. The young mother's body was found in a farm field but the baby never was. Don't know anything more.

    News clippings are definitely a place for story ideas. I do the what if thing a lot. Janice, thanks for sharing your experiences and how you work. I'd love to win one of your books.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Whoa, DebH...that is a juicy story waiting to happen!!

    ReplyDelete
  100. I am going to check out your books. Your explanation on how you flesh out your characters is intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Oh Vince I'm so glad that story is fiction. How sad. And what is really sad is there are probably true stories just as sad. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Very interesting way to find story fodder. I could never write suspense, but I love to read it! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Janice, thank you for an intriguing post! So many tragic stories out there, all with real people behind them.And thanks for the research tips.

    ReplyDelete