NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

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.

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


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Marcelle Dube . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I GET THE ODDEST LOOKS SOMETIMES

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.

Kathy Ivan

14 comments:

Nicole North said...

LOL! Great post!

MaureenAMiller said...

So true. So true. Wonderful story, Kathy. I would like to see the look on his face if you had answered, "No." Followed by a, "just kidding." :)

I used to write on airplanes and I had to shrink my Word screen to an inch by inch form so that the nosy seat-mates couldn't see the ummmm...how shall we call them....eh-hem scenes. LOL

Kathy Ivan said...

Thanks, Nicole.

Maureen, don't get me started on the looks I've gotten when discussing the eh-hem scenes. Those can definitely attract more attention than the somebody just got murdered scenes. :-)

Wynter Daniels said...

That's funny. I've had similar experiences when plotting in public. Sometimes I get wary stares and then I realize I've been talking about killing someone.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Great post, Kathy. We've all had that experience!

Kathy Ivan said...

I think its funny, as writers we tend to "people watch." Sometimes you know they've been listening to your conversation just by the look on their faces. Priceless!

Toni Anderson said...

I've had those conversations. And you look up and someone's calling the police? :) Too funny.

Elise Warner said...

Sounds like an original way to add another fan, Kathy. How did you get her out of the hotel?

Janni Nell said...

That's hilarious. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall.

Angela Henry said...

Great post! I would love to have seen the look on his face as he was listening!

Clare London said...

That's a wonderful story LOL. It's like the starnge looks I get when I'm working through a scene in my head but forget I'm not meant to be speaking aloud. Even worse when I'm trying to work out which limbs are where in a sex scene and start waving my arms about! :)

Shirley Wells said...

Many, many years ago, I was discussing a serial I was writing with my editor over dinner in a lovely hotel. She thought the heroine's baby had to die and I didn't. (Me? Argue with an editor? Hm.) The waiter was serving the vegetables and I said "But I can't kill my new baby!"

Cue vegetables all over the table and a white-faced waiter trying to clear up. And yes, we did explain... :)

Rebecca Rogers Maher said...

This post makes me so happy. I love that any of us, in all seriousness, can have these kinds of conversations. Such fun!

Kendall Swan said...

Hilarious story, Kathy!

Kendall

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