It’s usually something small that catches my interest. I start with that and then spin out a story.
In my latest book, the idea for the Trail of Terror came from the road I lived on for fifteen years in the Hollywood Hills. It was a rutted, one-lane track that ran along the side of a canyon past our home and up to a beautiful lot with a view of the city. A single mother lived there with her daughter. Sometimes our homes seemed to me these perfect, secluded hideaways from the world, but on a really dark, stormy night, mine, at least, felt lonely and vulnerable.
Our neighbor was a social creature who always had friends coming up and down the road for parties and gatherings.
I thought it would be fun to write about a single mother living in this setting; thus, the birth of Nicole Adams and her son Justin in What We Do for Love. Nicole, Justin, and my other characters were invented by me and, beyond the initial premise, have no resemblance to any real people; similarly, I made up the events of this book from my imagination.
So, although the people and events of this book are fictitious, you can rest assured that the Trail of Terror is real. I’ve lived there.