I've found discussing story lines and plots for my books can get some strange reactions. Since I write romantic suspense, often with a paranormal element or two thrown in, discussions in public places can get me some rather strange looks.
I remember once when I was out to lunch with a fellow multi-published author. Throughout the meal we discussed how our writing was progressing since we'd last talked, and dissecting our current works-in-progress. She's done critiques for me in the past; especially when I was first starting to seriously pursue writing with the goal of getting published.
We talked about my story, a suspense where I had my heroine hiding at a New Orleans hotel, having escaped from the bad guy chasing her the previous night. During the night, the bad guy had discovered which hotel she had taken refuge in, and needed to flush her out of her "safe" environment so he could capture her. I figured on having him call in a bomb threat to the hotel, causing an evacuation of the building.
"Sounds too contrived" was my friend's opinion. "Too easy for her to stay blended in with the crowds."
"But," I blustered along, "she'll have to leave her room, then leave the hotel, just like everybody else. The bad guy will be watching the front door and he can follow her."
"Nope, won't work. Too many police around. Bomb squad, too. No way can he whisk her away without being noticed." Her voice of reason made sense, but didn't mean I had to like it.
"Okay, then, how about we don't use a bomb. Let's have a phony gas leak called in. Still have to evacuate the building, but not all the commotion and way less police presence."
"That might work," she offered. "Still, how is the villain going to separate her from the rest of the hotel guests without her raising a ruckus and drawing all kinds of attention. After all, he's trying to kill her, right?"
"Okay, okay" I muttered. "Let me think. Maybe instead of grabbing her on the street, maybe he calls in the phony gas leak, then positions himself across the street possibly in an adjacent hotel or on the roof? Then when she comes out, blamo, he puts a bullet in her."
An inhaled gasp had both my friend and I turning in our chairs. Our waiter stood close to our table, gaping at us. After a moment of awkward silence, he took a step forward. "I have to ask," he started, "are you ladies . . . writers?"
My friend and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. Assuring him that we were, indeed, writers and were discussing a book. He stated that it sounded exactly likely something his wife would love to read. My friend, who also writes suspense, gave him her card with her books listed on it. I promised him his wife would, indeed, love her books.
To paraphrase Elmer Fudd, "Be vewy, vewy careful, we're hunting weaders . . . I mean readers." You just never know where you might find the next one. Or who might be listening.