with the release of "Hit 'n Run" , Book One in the "Under Suspicion" series, I get asked a lot where the ideas came from.
Typically, stories come to me from an accumulation of experiences I string together into a story.
The kernel of “Hit ’n Run” began when I was actually involved in a hit and run at the end of a bad day.
I was on my way to pick up my kids from school and just like my lead character, Lorna, I had to pull over while I tried unsuccessfully to explain to a client how I didn’t really understand cyberspace and sometimes e-mails do go missing. The absurdity of the conversation with this client was accentuated later in the day, after the accident, when I tried to explain to the police office that yes, I had indeed t-boned the car; however, the car had ran the stop sign and then proceeded to flee the scene. It was only when I explained my day to my husband and we laughed, deep in the belly, that I thought, ‘now there’s a scene I can use’.
The opportunity to use this event came much later when a relative recounted, loosely and only on cases now open to public record, how an undercover crime investigation went down. From there, Hit ’n Run was born, complete with full creative license and dramatic embellishments.
It is my hope. as the writer, that you will lose yourself in the story, become tangled in the web I created and come out of it hungry for book two "The Tables Have Turned".
As Mitch’s hand reached out for her shoulder she shrunk from his touch, again a little girl who couldn’t stand sympathetic contact. She bathed him with a hard look. “How could you do this to me,” she spat. “After what we shared, how can you think I was involved? How dare you!”
A shuddered breath wracked her tense body and she refused to let the tightening of her throat release the threatened tears as she continued in a hoarse whisper. “I would have thought your investigation would have revealed where the money came from,” she said forming air quotes over the word investigation. Swallowing to contain her emotions further, Lorna stood in the hopes of putting an end to the conversation. “As for Tim Fong. He’s the CEO of Aqua Oil. My client. I am their marketing person. I handle PR and media relations. That’s what I do—what my company does. Investigate that! I don’t know and have never heard of the Fong Family. I am sure everyone has some shady characters in their background. As you unearthed, I obviously did.”
Feeling the weight of sadness envelope her like a blanket, Lorna waved her hand at him, palm outstretched in dismissal. “I’m tired Mitch.” She sighed forcing her feet to move and hold her weight without shaking as she backed away.
Looking down at the one and only man who ever made her feel special, wanted, desired, Lorna realized all of it – her feelings – the way she thought he felt for her – it was all a big lie. Just another lie. He used her to get to her client and she felt deflated, drained of all emotion. How could someone she had been so open, so intimate with assume that she was somehow involved in an illegal crime ring? Because you have a record of being involved in criminal activities.
“Lorna, please. I can’t lose you again . . .” Mitch stood to reached for her hand.
She turned at her name. The anguish in his voice almost, but not quite able to penetrate her defensive shell. Arms crossed protectively over her stomach, holding firm to her sides, she lowered her head. “You’re not the person I thought you were,” she said turning. From over her shoulder she continued. “You’re not someone I want in my life.”
Though I didn’t know her name at the time, Olympian Gabriela Andersen-Schiess inspired me to write creatively.
I grew up loving the Olympic games—winter and summer. I was a kid when Gabriela Andersen-Schiess staggered across the finish line at the first women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. In a time of 2:48:45—37th place, the vision of her fight to finish is burned into my memory. I remember being on my feet in the living room, jumping up and down, tears streaming, mentally pushing her along the last 400-meters.
Twisted, limping, and holding her head, she refused to give up. She waved away medical help. You just knew from watching, she had to finish on her own steam. The crowd was wild, other athletes cheered, and we spectators marveled at her tenacity.
Years later, in grade 11 when we were given a creative writing assignment on courage, I could think of no one else to use as my hero. I took her plight and never give up attitude and applied it to my first heroine. Her plight ever vivid, Gabriela remained faceless in my memory, but yet, she had every face. When I needed my female character to overcome, that character became the Olympian. And now that I am older and listened to Gabriela relive the experience, from her own words, she says it best:
“You can see the struggle, but if you really set your mind to it, you can overcome a lot of obstacles…you have to get over some bad experiences and not dwell on it and just move forward and learn something.”