Guilty as charged. But I wasn’t ready to give in.
“Susan, you have six published novels with critical acclaim! You’ve got me beat by a mile!”
Susan said, no, not by that far, because with all my travels, I’m “filling the well” with adventures that can be used for future books.
She’s right. Last summer the strangest thing happened…. It was a perfectly beautiful day. I’d chosen to visit the Île de la Grande Jatte because it was the site of Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte,” and it was accessible by metro. I circled the whole island. Helpful placards showed where some of the Impressionists (Seurat, Monet, Van Gogh, Sisley, Gleizes) had done specific paintings. But when I got to the far western end, which is where Monet had set “The Banks of the Seine,” something happened. I was walking along the skillfully planned garden beds. I was admiring the flowers and silently thanking the shade of the tall trees.
Then the light bulb flicked itself on. I thought to myself, “This is a perfect place------- for a murder!!!” It was isolated. It was quiet. It was close to town yet far enough away to be dangerous. And instead of enjoying the simple beauty, something far more sinister came to my mind: Who should I kill off at this very spot?
Several more times last summer, I had the sensation that a perfectly delightful spot I’d just discovered would be the optimal site for a murder. In the next weeks’ blogs, I’ll review some of them. I won’t talk about how I might use them, which series they might be for or which book they might turn up in. For that, you’ll have to do your own reading.
Or maybe buy a plane ticket.
Where would you most like to set your (next) murder story? What would be some advantages and disadvantages?