One of the many things I enjoy about writing the Library Loverâ€™s
Mysteries is that I get to flex my librarian research muscles. As I devised
the plot for ON BORROWED TIME, I knew that Lindseyâ€™s brother Jack was
going to be a globetrotting economist. But when it came to the business crisis
that would cause him to be on the run, I was stumped.
This happens frequently during the plotting stages of a novel. Iâ€™ll have a
kernel of an idea but no idea how to make it pop. There are a variety of methods
to try and get a lock on the idea. I walk my dogs a lot. Sometimes inspiration
hits during the pooper scoop portion of the walk and sometimes it hits when my
girl dog launches herself off the sidewalk in some crazy attempt to take down a
passing bread truck. She has issues.
If the dog thing doesnâ€™t work, I move on to baking. I will bake myself into a
three pies, two rounds of cupcakes, several batches of cookies sugar coma in an
attempt to get my ideas to blossom. When that doesnâ€™t work, itâ€™s back to walking
the dogs, because by then I really need the exercise.
Not being a patient person, I am like the farmer who goes out and pulls on the
roots of the carrots trying to get them to grow. This is accomplished by sitting
with a pad and pen, trying to scratch out a plot over and over and over again.
Needless to say there are a lot of crossed out sentences, some rough language,
and many crumpled up wads of paper littering the floor during this process. Yes,
the pad and pen is rolling old school, might as well be a clay tablet and a
chisel, but sometimes the tactile scratch of the pen on the paper soothes the
The one thing I have learned is that as much as I pull on the carrots or scratch
on the pad, the idea will come when itâ€™s ready and not a second before, much
like the kernel will pop only when it reaches optimum heat. So, I listen to the
universe and wait. And sometimes, the idea comes in an unexpected place, like a
story on the radio, which is where ON BORROWED
TIME was born.
I was doing my motherly carpool duty, and listening to NPR, when they did a
report about the coffee rust fungus that was destroying the worldâ€™s coffee crop.
This got my attention for two reasons, first, because I am a coffee addict and
this was terrible news, second, it struck me as an excellent solution to my plot
problem. When I got home, I went into librarian mode and spent the day
researching coffee as an industry and the mysterious fungus that was decimating
plantations all over the world. In short, a plot was born! Huzzah!
Hereâ€™s a brief description of ON BORROWED
TIME, so you can get an idea of the plot at work:
Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director
Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company,
goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.
Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of
ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine,
Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her
world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.
Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes
matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a
strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and
exotic woman, itâ€™ll take the help of both her library book clubâ€”the
crafternoonersâ€”and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in
I hope you enjoy reading ON BORROWED TIME as much as I enjoyed writing it and if
youâ€™re a coffee lover like me -- Cheers! For more information about me or my
books, you can go to my website or find me on Facebook or Twitter.
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