A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Why What Happened to Amelia Earhart Captures Our Attention

The news this week has been awash with new details surrounding the disappearance of famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart on July 2, 1937. Those details while not exactly brand new, are being brought to the public eye because of a history show scheduled for this weekend. Why are not only Americans, but people around the world so interested in answers to her disappearance? One simple answer is it stimulates our imagination. What defeated this woman who many were convinced was unstoppable after her trip across the Atlantic in 1928?

As a writer, I find circumstances like this perfect fodder for my devious, ahem, inquisitive mind. Wouldn’t it be fun to write the end to her story? Take the facts and twist them into an alternate history. A half dozen theories exist, as do hard-to-decipher clues. Finding Amelia has become a pastime for investigators spending millions of dollars to find the one definitive clue to prove what happened to her and her navigator Noonan.

A writer could concoct an adventure novel where the reader wonders if each step in the journey would be Amelia’s last. Or it could just as easily be developed into a political thriller, considering some of the following details. Mrs. Roosevelt liked and encouraged Amelia, so much so she convinced her husband, the president, to set the government in motion to support her flight around the world. America colonized (with four people) tiny islands in the Pacific where the government could build airfields. They eventually built a runway on Howland Island for Earhart to have a place to land. It is interesting a civilian pilot could get the government to use their resources to support a private venture. Of course, the government had various reasons for doing so, that looked further down the road to strengthening our power around the world, but they also did it to spite other countries like Britain that didn’t want to allow Earhart to land on their islands in the Pacific. And then there is the photo and claim that the Japanese captured her after she crash landed or even shot her down. That suggests a dozen more questions about why the Japanese, who knew she was making the flight (she  originally had planned to land in Tokyo when going east to west on her first attempt) would not tout their rescue of her. If true, why hide that they knew what happened to her since this occurred years before we went to war? The stories a writer could weave from real life.

A few years ago at a mystery conference, I had the opportunity to listen to Ric Gillespie, a veteran of historical aircraft recovery, a pilot, and one of those mounting expeditions to search for answers to Amelia’s demise. From his voice, enthusiasm, and meticulous details, I could see the drive inherent in mankind to solve great mysteries. That drive is exactly what makes a strong character in a novel. What if Amelia had been your friend or sister or lover? How hard would fight to uncover the story of her flight?

People frequently ask where writers get their ideas. Just look around and listen to the stories of real life. The story of Amelia Earhart has everything a good mystery, drama, or thriller needs. Perhaps someday it will have an ending…but until then, perhaps we can write our own.

You might wonder why I personally have an interest in the story of Amelia. Partially natural curiosity, but also because she was the first president and a founding member of an organization I belong to, the 99s, an international women pilot’s organization. A 99s scholarship exists today with Amelia’s name to advance flight training and education of licensed pilot members.


Cathy Perkins said...

I love your idea of alternate history endings for Amelia's story. She would make a fantastic character given what an intriguing person she was in "real life."

Tell us more about the 99s!

Kathy Crouch said...

I agree about the possibilities. I was thinking time travel, alternate dimension, all kinds of things.
I'm really glad we have women like this in our history.

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

I was completely mesmerized by the story just emerging about Amelia's "rescue" by the Japanese. From the trailer for the special it sounded as if some now believe Amelia was imprisoned and possibly executed as a spy.--and our govt knew about it. I really want to know what happened!

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