This Month I am asking our gusts some tough questions. Inquiring minds want to know. I Asked P.J. MacLayne Where is the funniest place you got your writing inspiration.?
P.J.; Some background story is necessary to answer this question. I have a day job in a male-dominated field. It’s a very logic-driven field (think computers) so they are amused by not only my writing, but the genres I write. (Urban fantasy/paranormal and female sleuth) I get teased about it on a regular basis, but in a friendly way.
Occasionally, we as a team get started on coming up with the worst plots possible. For example, a coat rack in the hall that is actually a wizard involved in a plot to take over the world. Or the dinosaur shifter that is a porn star. (Yes, we get a little racy occasionally. Thank heavens HR isn’t anywhere near our office.) But once in a while, someone suggests something that gets me thinking seriously.
My series, although in different genres, occur in closely related geographic areas. When I was writing the first book in the mystery series, it was suggested that I should include my werewolves in the story. We all had a good laugh about it, but then I decided to do it. Just a couple of lines, and only someone familiar with both series would catch it, but it made me grin. An inside joke if you will. For example, there’s a company in the mysteries called “Shifter Technologies.”
I continued the concept in each of the mysteries. Just hints. But when I got to the current book, The Samurai’s Inro, I went for broke. I brought a couple of characters from the urban fantasy series into the mystery, as off-stage participants. It’s more than a hint, it’s a blatant reference. And it was fun doing it. I haven’t figured out how to carry the concept into my work-in-progress, but I’m sure I’ll slip it in somehow.
So, although it sounds like a contradiction, the funniest place I’ve gotten an inspiration for my writing is at work. And here’s a tip of my hat to the guys who help me to not take myself so seriously.
Title: The Samurai’s Inro
The Harmony Duprie Mysteries
Author: P.J. MacLayne
Cover artist: K.M. Guth
Genre/heat rating Female Sleuth Low heat
Harmony Duprie has it made. Or so she thinks.
A quiet life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove.
Oh, and Eli.
But trouble has a long memory and it’s playing a deadly game.
Friends’ cars stolen.
Her apartment ransacked.
The duplicate of a stolen Japanese antique carved box left behind.
Trouble follows wherever she goes, including the parking lot of the police station. Not even the want-to-be bodyguard brought in by Police Chief Sorenson can end the harassment. And all her research leads to dead ends.
Can Harmony identify the face of trouble before she loses and the winner takes her life as the final prize?
Let the games begin.
Excerpt From the Samurai’s Inro In this scene, Harmony, The main character, is in disguise at a local bar to gather information. As is normal for her, things don’t go as planned.
If he had known what was good for him, he would have backed down. He wasn’t that smart. He swung at me. In a classic move, I grabbed his arm and used his own power to toss him to the floor. “Not cool,” I said.
He should’ve stayed down but wasn’t that smart. He wobbled as he half-rose and lunged at me. I moved aside and kicked him in the rear as he sailed by. The alcohol didn’t do him any favors.
“Enough is enough. Give it up. Go home.” I wondered how everyone else was reacting and if I’d need to defend myself from any of his friends, but didn’t dare take my eyes off him. I backed up until I bumped into the bar.
It took him longer to get up the second time. For a minute, I thought he’d finally gotten smart and was giving up. I was wrong.
I’d never been in an actual bar fight. It wasn’t like the movies. No one else joined in. It was just me and Kody. Where was Butch with the shotgun kept behind the bar for stopping fights? I mean, that’s what happened in every book. But as far as I could tell, he wasn’t even going to call the cops.
One of the girls had. A part of my brain processed she was on the phone and talking to 911. Good. I bounced on my toes, waiting for Kody’s next move.
I hadn’t tried to hurt him. Yet. Only to embarrass him. I’d hoped that would be enough to get him to stop. At the moment, I didn’t think my strategy had worked.
Holding on to a chair, he dragged himself off the floor. As he reached behind his back, the world slowed down. I’d already figured out where he stashed his gun. If he got to his, and I got to mine, innocent people might get hurt.
I didn’t have time for pretty. Or graceful. I threw myself at him.
Meet P.J. MacLayne
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. She writes the Harmony Duprie Mysteries (not-quite-cozy) and the Free Wolves Adventures. (urban fantasy/paranormal)
P.J. MacLayne can be reached on: Website: http://pjmaclayne.com
The Free Wolves (Each book can be read as a stand-alone
The Harmony Duprie Mysteries
The Marquesa’s Necklace
Her Ladyship’s Ring
The Baron’s Cufflinks
The Countessa’s Brooch
The Samurai’s Inro
The Ranger’s Dogtags
Where do you get your inspiration whether you write , garden, craft or what?