Lipstick & Danger

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In Search of a Story

I admit it. I love geography and this affects what I read and what I write—most of the time. One of the questions I get from people who find out I’m a writer is “How do you think these things up?” Like most writers, I look at situations, pictures, places and people a little differently than a lot of people. Falling in love with a place can start with reading National Geographic. Meeting an interesting character might spring from the pages of TIME magazine or from watching a NOVA episode on PBS. About a year ago I drove by a new subdivision adorned with a big rock sign boasting the name. And just like that, I had the name of a future novel series. (To be announced!)

None of those tricks were used in my latest novel. Kifaru, pronounced KEE-FAR-ROO, is Swahili for black rhino. I’ve always loved how that word rolls off the tongue. When my children were young they took an interest in karate. In order for them to start lessons I had to drive them forty minutes one way over very curvy roads. We lived in a rural part of the state and this was pretty common. The karate school was called Kifaru. The sensei was a former Las Vegas police detective and tough as nails. My son developed other interests after a couple of years, but my daughter stuck with it until she graduated from high school. I loved how he taught my her how she could be strong even though she was petite.

Fast forward to becoming a writer. When I traveled to Africa I took notes on what I saw, touched, tasted and heard. I always use my senses when I travel to bring new life to my stories. When

I went on Safari I made sure I sat with the driver so I could hear his stories about the animals we saw. I even learned how to speak Swahili. Unfortunately, we ended up in a country that spoke Tswana. My luck. But English was also the language everyone seemed to use and wanted to practice. But I still loved that magical word KIFARU. So when I continued the Enigma series I found myself dealing with events in Africa. I knew I  would finally get to use black rhino for my title.  Enigma 4 & 5 deal with conflict diamonds and the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa. I hope you’ll learn something new on this next adventure of Tessa Scott and Captain Chase Hunter.

Here is a little taste:

Tessa Scott thought taking her children to Squaw Valley for a skiing trip would be a great way to relax. Reconnecting with her family turned out to be more of an adventure than she’d planned when several men followed her onto a snow-packed highway. After meeting a stranger at a convenience store, she convinced him to help her get away, only to discover later, the stranger was the bigger threat.   http://amzn.to/2zDdmMy

3 Responses

  1. Being a retired Geography professor, I relate totally to your love and interest in the places. The people, resources, animals and physical landscape of a location are all great fodder for the type of adventure, mystery, spy-games stories that you write! I so envy your safari adventure. What an experience that must have been. I’m reading Kifaru right now and loving it.
    Can’t wait to read about your next adventure – mirrored in the book you will conjure from it!

  2. You amaze me with your knowledge and desire to keep learning new things. Guess that’s why you’re such an interesting lady. Great post. And good to know that I was pronouncing Kifaru correctly. Who would have thought?

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