Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jack-in-the-Box Books

Inspiration for books can crop up in the most unexpected places. And just keep popping, no matter how you try to shove it back in the box.

Take my new release, The Naked Detective. The original kernel of an idea for the story came from a bit of banter between the hero and heroine of The Ghost Exterminator. Jo offers to strip naked to perform a ghost extermination for Wyatt –if I had a nickel for every time someone propositioned me that way. ;) She then comments that there are other Karmic Consultants who work in the nude. Thus, Ciara, the Naked Detective was born. Human lo-jack, but only when she’s stark nekkid. I’d played with the idea of giving Ciara a book of her own, but my original series plan didn’t include that story in the arc, so I shoved the idea into my Maybe Someday file and forgot about it.

Fast forward a few months when I’m chatting with my editor about cover art and series arcs for the Karmic Consultants series. She asked if I was ever going to do anything with that naked chick and when I said I wasn’t planning it as a full length book, she lobbied for giving Ciara a novella. The idea appealed and I started mulling it over, but how was I going to squeeze Ciara’s story between The Sexorcist & Karma’s without messing up the series arc?

That afternoon, I got a call from an old friend. We hadn’t talked in years, but by the end of the conversation I had plans to meet her in Atlantic City that weekend for a concert and whatever trouble we could find on short notice. The weekend was an exercise in spontaneity, anything unexpected was fair game. It was that Friday night over blackjack at the Borgata when I realized a weekend getaway was the perfect way to give Ciara and her FBI stud Nate a chance to get to know one another outside of their normal boundaries (and without mucking up my series plan). My naked psychic and her Fed handler were going to Atlantic City, baby. America’s Playground wouldn’t know what hit it – and Ciara, who has a tendency to call for help rather than try to muddle through on her own, would have no one to rely on but Nate.

The Naked Detective was my jack-in-the-box book. The idea just kept popping up. Every time I shoved it back in the box, it would spring back out again until I finally gave in and wrote it.

Those who’ve enjoyed the Karmic Consultants books will see nods to some of their favorites, but if you’re just jumping into the series this one is a playful and lighthearted paranormal vacation of a novella – whether you’re on holiday or need one.

Where’s your favorite place for a spontaneous getaway? Or favorite place to read about escaping to?

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