I’ve always believed in the old saying, “Write what you know, ” So in addition to the research I do for each book, I also tap on a lot of personal experience. For example, in early February of this year I ended up in the hospital ER with a severe intestinal virus, dehydration, and esophagitis. As I lay hooked up to two IVs, I was already figuring out how to use my experience in my current story, next year’s YEWS WITH CAUTION, where Marco’s life is hanging in the balance.
As another example, in my new release, MOSS HYSTERIA, I couldn’t resist using an actual series of robberies that occurred in my neighborhood as the catalyst for the murder mystery. I just had to tread lightly when it came to portraying the neighbors that were robbed.
The crime is an interesting one, happening right under our noses in an area considered safe. It’s a new subdivision being built by a developer, and houses are going up all around the area, with workmen coming and going constantly. I knew it might be tricky to use my own neighborhood, but it was such a perfect setting for a murder mystery that I decided to go for it.
My job then became twofold — to change the development just enough to make it different from mine and yet borrow the layout that aided in the criminal’s ability to get in and out of houses without being detected; and to change my neighbors so as to make them unrecognizable to themselves while adding lots of humor to the story.
I know they will love it. The story is close enough to the real events to be believable without pointing out the actual victims of the crime, and humorous enough to make them see the funny side of it.
For Abby, it becomes a necessity to help make her community safe again but it’s not so funny when she finds herself alone one evening being stalked by the murderer while Marco is working at Down the Hatch. I won’t give the ending away but I will tell you that it made my heart pound in fear, my palms sweat, and, ultimately, tears fill my eyes. When that happens to me, I’m almost certain it will take the readers by surprise and make that happen to them, too.
The wrap-up chapter will also make you tear up a bit, but in a happy way. And there’s a surprise at the end, as well. I can’t wait for you to read it.
Kate Collins www.katecollinsbooks.com
About the Book: MOSS HYSTERIA, A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins, NAL paperback, April 5, 2016, $7.99.