One thing I love about writing my series is how someone’s off-the-cuff comment can inspire a subplot or even an entire plot. I’ll give you two examples straight out of my newest release, BODY ON THE BAYOU. (How’s that for a smooth segue into shameless shilling?)
When I was mulling over a plot for the second book in my Cajun Country Mystery series – available at bookstores and websites everywhere!!! (Sorry, but I’ve been doing so much promotion lately, I can’t stop myself) – my publisher said, “Maybe a murder could take place at Doucet sometime.” My response? “Great idea! Thanks, Matt.” Then my agent asked, “Doesn’t Maggie [my protagonist] ever miss New York City?” To which I replied, “She does now, Doug.” Both those casual comments helped me form the plot for the third book in my series, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING. (Coming your way in 2017! )
Readers are particularly valuable when it comes to inspiring me with story ideas. After reading BODY ON THE BAYOU (pick it up at your local… oh, never mind), a woman sent me a lovely review. She ended it by writing that she hoped the town’s nasty acting police chief would lose his job. Well, I’m working on the outline for book four right now, and Chief Penske, I wouldn’t get too attached to Pelican PD if I were you. Another reader expressed hope that Maggie would eventually get promoted from her position as a tour guide at Doucet. Guess what’s going to happen in book four?
So don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, hopes, and dreams with your favorite authors. You never know when one of them might be staring at a blank screen, praying for a light-bulb moment that only you can provide.
Readers, is there anything you’d like to see in our series? Feel free to share!