Today Caroline Fardig author of Southern Double Cross, A Southern B&B mystery is joining us at Ascroft, eh? to tell us about what inspires her writing.
Welcome Caroline. I’ll turn the floor over to you:
So, where do I find my inspiration?
One question I get asked a lot is, “How do you come up with this stuff?” The answer is that my mind is constantly churning ideas, and it’s much easier to “come up with stuff” than to turn it off! Still, I’m always on the lookout for unusual things to write about. I look for inspiration in everything I do and experience, but these are a few of my favorite ways to get those creative juices flowing:
I always develop my stories to music. When I re-read through certain scenes I have written, I can actually hear my “soundtrack” playing in the background. Along the same lines, when I hear certain songs, I’m immediately transported into the middle of one of my books, right inside the scene as if I were actually there. When I begin plotting a novel, I like to put on some music and relax, letting my mind wander. The music has to fit the mood of the story, and sometimes if I find the perfect song, I wear out the replay button.
Let’s be clear—I am NOT in any way suggesting plagiarism here. That being said, as a mystery writer, I find the TV show CSI very helpful. Before I started binge watching the series, I had no idea about the science behind forensics or how the process of decomp worked. I remember seeing one episode where the killer was using laughing gas to immobilize his victims so that he could set a fire and make it look like they had died accidentally. The reasoning was that laughing gas doesn’t stay in the lungs for long, so it’s nearly impossible to find during an autopsy. I wanted to go a little farther than that, and finally spun an idea about a killer mixing lethal combinations of meds that the victims were already taking. Inspiration, not plagiarism.
Friends and family/ Life experiences
Write what you know, right? If something funny or interesting happens to me, it goes in my next novel. I’ve used certain interesting quirks from people I know in my characters. And my heroines always have at least a little bit of myself in them.
I love to people watch. It’s fun to go to a crowded place and watch humans interact. I’ve learned so much by observing the wide spectrum of people’s facial expressions and body language. I feel like if I can accurately describe a character’s expression and pair it with fitting dialogue, I’m (I hope!) giving my readers a glimpse into my imagination and how I see the scene playing out in my head.
Every time I go to the beach, I came home with new story plans. I think being able to completely relax and do absolutely nothing but stare out at the wide expanse of beautiful ocean for hours on end is the best inspiration I can get. Conversely, if I’m setting a book in a big city, I always go and visit and get a feel for the area. I try not to be a tourist, but rather act like a local to get the full effect.
The bottom line is that inspiration is everywhere. In the hectic way that most of us live our lives, it’s difficult to appreciate our surroundings. Even if you’re not a writer, take time to stop and smell the roses—they might just inspire a bright, beautiful idea.
Thanks for telling us about your inspirations, Caroline. Readers can learn more about Caroline and her writing, by visiting her website and her Facebook page. You can also follow her on Twitter (@carolinefardig).
The novel is available at the following online retailers.
About Caroline Fardig: Caroline is the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Java Jive Mysteries series and the Lizzie Hart Mysteries series. Fardig’s BAD MEDICINE was named one of the “Best Books of 2015” by Suspense Magazine. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.