ROSEMARY: Bears are not the only dangerous creatures out there. Just before we left for Montana, it was reported that one of the escaped convicts from Arizona (recently captured thank goodness) was seen in St. Mary, Montana. I was headed to St. Mary and would stay there Friday and Saturday night.
It takes about ten minutes to go from one end of St. Mary to the next. If you go real slow and don't stop at the Park Cafe whose motto is "Pie is Strength!" (They make really good huckleberry pie.)
Had I gone from the frying pan into the fire? Having escaped the grizzlies would I wind up bunking next to a serial killer at the Red Eagle Motel (above), one of only three places to stay in town? Would the pepper spray work on him if we bumped into each other at the ice machine?
I'm still noodling around with ideas for book five - perhaps Paula should have an accidental encounter with a killer. Would readers buy that?
Have you had any accidental encounters with criminals? Have you ever used a scary or dangerous situation that you've really been in, in one of your books?
HALLIE: I've had a black bear (not grizzly) bear romp into our camp site while our 4 month old was sleeping in the tent. Heroes that we are, Jerry and I jumped into the car and watched it sniff around the tent (I was ready to jump out and drive it off, really I was) then double back, grab our bag of marshmallows off the table and tear off into the bushes.
ROSEMARY: I'm assuming you grabbed the 4 month old before the marshmallows...
JAN: Yes, I once was a pedestrian at an intersection where the driver gestured for me to "go ahead." Once I started walking, the driver gunned it and my brother actually had to lift me by the collar to get me out of the way. The car missed me by half an inch. It was frightening but I immediately thought: What a novel and effective way to intimidate and/or murder someone. I used it in A Confidential Source.
HANK: Yes. How do people really come in contact with killers, anyweay? Sometimes, the killer is looking for them. Sometimes they get in the way. And sure, I use real reporter situations all the time. Even being alone in a room with someone iffy - that's scary. And potentially dangerous. And certainly suspenseful.
ROSEMARY: Well...I can't say any of my jobs...bookstore manager, direct marketing exec., public television drone or video producer has had me rubbing shoulders with any serious criminals - not that I know of anyway! But being in the same small town with the object of a nationwide manhunt gave me the willies and it will definitely wind up in a future book.
Come back tomorrow for a visit with longtime publishing exec. Bruce Harris (I'd call him legendary, but he's my husband and he'd kill me.) He'll reprise his well-received New England Crimebake talk Countdown to Publication. What you should do and what your publisher should be doing in your run up to publication. And he'll be here Wed-Fri to answer questions.