Sometimes the ideas for books come when you’re looking for something else. When I was embarking on the journey to write Dangerous Connections, book 5 in my Blackthorne, Inc. series, all I wanted was a place to set what my daughter calls my “MacGyver Opening Gambits.” I thought my covert ops team might be dealing with the Mexican drug cartels, so I was searching for a setting in Mexico. I ran across an article about how American engineers were being kidnapped to build cell phone networks so the cartels could communicate privately, and wham! The story took a whole new direction.
For my Mapleton Mystery series, which is set in a small town, I have to deal with the Jessica Fletcher/Cabot Cove syndrome trap. Book 1 deals with the first homicide in the town’s collective memory, and I didn’t want to be killing off Mapleton citizens in each book. I’d already done the cold case (Deadly Bones) and the “Gordon goes out of town” (Deadly Puzzles), so I needed something different for the next book (Deadly Production). I noticed that my daughter was tweeting about having to get up at 2:30 in the morning and when I asked her why, she said it was because she was an extra on Game of Thrones.
Voila! A movie company comes to Mapleton, bringing in an entirely new cast of characters. And surely, there will be one I can kill. (Sorry, that’s what mystery writers do.) Not being overly conversant with movie-making, I pumped my daughter for information about the process, and asked her to vet some of the scenes in the book. (Should you watch the show, she's the blonde Wildling in Season 5, Episode 8.)
Right now, until the end of May, you can buy a download of Deadly Production for the introductory price of 99 cents. All buy links are here.
When life seems too good to be true—watch out.
Mapleton Police Chief Gordon Hepler thinks his troubles with the small-town politics are behind him. The town council has even awarded him a reserved parking place. But an early-morning summons from the new mayor has Gordon on alert.
Instead of yet another budget dispute, the mayor announces an independent film company is making a movie in Mapleton. For the mayor, it means good press for Mapleton—and more importantly—more money for the town coffers. For the citizens, it means rubbing elbows with celebrities. For Gordon, the news means headaches, extra shifts, and scheduling issues. But he’s a pro. He’ll ensure the company has his full cooperation while continuing to protect his town.
When a member of the film crew is found dead, everything goes sideways. The mayor pushes Gordon to adopt a business as usual mentality, and let the film company handle the investigation. But a murder on Mapleton soil makes it Gordon's jurisdiction, and nothing the mayor says can make him halt his investigation.
When other members of the cast and crew haven't reported in, Gordon wonders if he's looking for more suspects or more victims. Will Gordon listen to the mayor, or risk his job to find the truth?
Ideas are everywhere. Where do you find them?
|Terry Odell is the author of numerous romantic suspense novels, mystery novels, as well as contemporary romance short stories. Most of her books are available in both print and digital formats. She's the author of the Blackthorne, Inc. series, steamy romantic suspense novels featuring a team of covert ops specialists, the Pine Hills Police series, set in a small Oregon town, and the Mapleton Mystery series, featuring a reluctant police chief in a small Colorado town. To see all her books, visit her website. You can also find her at her blog, Terry's Place, as well as follow her on Twitter, or visit her Facebook page.|