Monday, February 6, 2017

Using Reality

by Linda O. Johnston

  I very much appreciated my the post before mine here at InkSpot, since we've both had similar stuff going on in our lives.  And we're both using it in our ongoing writing.

  Like Tracy Weber, I lost a beloved dog last year.  Lexie, who was thirteen, left us in October.  Her "sister" Mystie, another Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, seemed to step up to take over as number one pup.  But for various reasons, including not wanting Mystie to be alone long periods of time as we took on travel plans, we looked for another Cavalier.  We brought Carina, Cari for short, home in January, when she was eleven weeks old.

  Now, I write a lot about dogs in both my Midnight Ink mysteries and in romances.  I love them, especially my own.  But I hadn't had a puppy around for nine years.  And Cari, as cute as she is, is quite rambunctious.  I've maintained some control over her, partly because she's small, but she still doesn't seem to understand that the humans around here are alpha over her.

  My mind has been whirling around how to use this in something I'm writing.  In more than one thing I'm writing.  Plus, since I've been researching dog training for a series I'm doing for a different publisher, I intend to take Cari to a special training school when she's old enough--and of course use what I learn in as many things I write as possible.   Hopefully, she'll learn enough to be considered a trained pup.  Or not.

  All this has made me think once more about how we all incorporate what we know, and what we love, in our writing.  Cozy mysteries generally all have themes as their background, so those of us who write them choose the things we enjoy as those themes: pets, yes, and also different kinds of hobbies or jobs or other things such as handcrafts or cooking or home improvement or books and bookstores and more.  Presumably readers who share those interests are among those who are most likely to pick up our books and read them.

  Plus, a lot of people have multiple interests in their lives, so writers can write more than one series incorporating vocations or avocations that they love.  I've taken on different aspects of pets, and even, in an early mystery series, included my then-career as a lawyer.

  As always, I keep plotting, and have some ideas for other works that would incorporate my interests.  Don't know if I'll follow through with any of them... but it's always fun to plot!

  And meantime, I'm looking forward to my next Midnight Ink mystery, BAD TO THE BONE, a Barkery & Biscuits Mystery, which will be published in May.

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