Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Plot Thickens

Sandra Orchard here to help kick off romantic suspense month.

Ahh, February…romance is in the air!

Once friends find out I write for “Harlequin”, they like to tease my hubby with questions such as: So what’s it like to be married to a romance writer? ~Elbow. Elbow. Wink. Wink.~

Well, let me tell you. It’s not all fun and games. Sure hubby’s happy to help inspire me when I need to experiment with a kiss to get all the details right.

But I’m an inspirational writer so it never gets any further than that, much to my hubby’s disappointment I’m sure.

Besides, I’m not really a romance writer. I’m a romantic suspense writer.

So more often than not, I’m contemplating means of killing people, and more importantly, how to get away with it.

This can be quite uncomfortable for my family. Especially if they happen to notice my book of poisons sitting on the counter as they sit down to dinner.

Did you know that too much…?

Hmm, never mind, I’d better not reveal that. I’m planning to use the tidbit in my next book.

My family has learned to take my quirky ways in stride. My hubby is quick to assure people that it’s not him I’m planning to do away with when after I ask, “How could someone in your profession get away with murder?”

Most of the time, people warm right up to the subject. After all, be honest, how many of you have never contemplated how you might kill someone?

I’ve had a lot of fun with this line of questioning.

One time on the way to the airport following a writer’s conference, I shared a cab with a forensic pathologist. I was working on a mystery in which I killed someone by… hmm, won’t give that one away either.

Let’s just say by an ingenious means.

So I asked him, “If I killed someone by such and such a means, would you be able to detect that?”

The cabbie’s gaze shot to the rearview mirror. After the pathologist said, “No,” and I rubbed my hands in glee, I think the cabbie spent more time eyeing the rearview mirror than the road.

We made it to the airport in record time.

Then in the plane, I sat beside an aviation inspector. This was a divine meeting since I’d written a plane crash story that I wanted to tweak, and I had a two-hour flight to pick this guy’s brain about the myriad of reasons a plane might go down, and how.

Let me tell you, if you knew this stuff, you’d think twice before you got on a plane. I’m pretty sure the woman in front of us clutching her armrests was.

I could go and on with examples of ideas that have blossomed from the most innocuous situations.

Of course, there are drawbacks to having such an active imagination. It makes relaxing difficult.

This past summer while kayaking with the family, I couldn’t help but notice how easy it would be to sneak up on someone’s house from the water. My daughter who is also a writer locked right onto the idea and before you knew it we were spinning a tale of mystery and mayhem, and eyeing suspiciously every person who paddled by.

Of course, while I have a lot of fun writing my heroes and heroines into the worst situations imaginable, in the end, with the love of God and a good woman, the good guys triumph.

Check out how much trouble I get my characters into in my March LIS release now available on Harlequin.

For updates on new releases, special subscriber-only reads and giveaway opportunities, sign up for my newsletter
And I’d love for you to connect on Facebook


  1. Laugh, laugh, laugh! This is very interestingly enlightening. I love reading your post today, Sandra. It shows the true life of a writer, especially a LIS writer. Keep on keeping on!

  2. See why I can't read these kind of books?!

    Just because of your post I'm looking around to see who is looking at me with a weird stare ahahahah.

    But I concede... you are REALLY GOOD in your writing.

    Wishing you the best,

  3. Sandra, you're a girl after my own heart. For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me when I couldn't write without a dead body showing up. Then, I got together with other mystery writers and found I was normal.

    Of course, now there are no bodies in my books, but I love reading mysteries.

  4. So glad you enjoyed the post, Olufisayo.

    Thanks Teresa, I appreciate the encouragement even if I can't convince you to read LIS books :) Of course, you can always rest assured the good guys will win in the end!!!

    LOL, Leann, not sure about "normal" but we can dream :)

  5. How funny, Sandra!! I can just imagine that poor cab driver!! LOL

  6. By the way, once on a writing retreat with Lynette Eason where we were brainstorming a story idea for her, I called my father-in-law (an orthopedic surgeon) to find out how someone could break someone else's leg. LOL If anyone had overheard us, they would have been scared of the two crazy ladies. :)

  7. Oh, that is funny. Not so long ago someone outside the grocery store overheard my writing friend gasp at me, "You can't kill him." You should've seen the look the woman gave me. My friend was oblivious, but fortunately for me went on to say "or I won't finish reading..." LOL

  8. Sandra, this was fun to read more about your inspiration for your romantic suspense novels. You made me laugh with some of those stories. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  9. That would have been an interesting flight. I have been on one where the older guy next to me kept saying before we left oh they are working on the engine. I hope it doesn't fall off. If it does I will tell you. I played along I dont have a fear of flying. His wife was trying to get him to stop and I know a few around were not enjoying his conversation. I have to say it was really funny.

    I too feel for the cabbie.

  10. Great post, Sandra. My husband always worries about introducing me to people because I often ask them strange questions.

  11. Sandra, remember what happened to Harriet Vane! She ended up charged with poisoning her lover. But then she ended up marrying Lord Peter Wimsey so it all worked out. :-)

  12. Sandra,
    So fun! I met with my crit partner on Tuesday for lunch, and we were discussing murder when a cop walked by our table. I thought he might have overheard our discussion. Luckily, he passed us by. WHEW! :)

  13. Too funny Sandra. I had a conversation like that with our pharmacist once. I made sure to preface that I was a writer and that one of my characters needed to know the information about how to kill someone without a trace. He still gave me a funny look, but answered my questions. And yes, I feel for the woman on the plane in front of you. I hate to fly and if I'd heard that conversation, you would have been pealing me off the roof. :) Many sales!

  14. Sandra, what an entertaining post. Even though I don't write suspense, I often email my doctor son or my firefighter son and ask such things as, "Where can I shoot someone so that he bleeds alot but can keep moving?" Or "If I set a house on fire, how could I get away with it?" My boys think it's a hoot! Thanks for sharing your evil ways. lol

  15. Glad all of you enjoyed the post. I loved hearing your stories too. I'm sure we could come up with quite a collection!


Popular Posts

Write for Love Inspired Romance?

Write for Love Inspired Romance?
If you do and would like to join this blog, please contact either Margaret Daley or Pamela Tracy

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive