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The Sirens of Suspense




Lois Greiman sold her first novel to Avon Books in 1992, and has published more than twenty titles since then, including romantic comedy, historical romance, children’s stories, and her Christina McMullen mysteries about an LA psychologist. She has won such prestigious honors as Romantic Times' Storyteller of the Year, Midwest Fiction Writers Rising Star Award, Romantic Times' Love and Laughter Award, the Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery, and the LaVyrle Spencer Award. 

Find Lois on Twitter and Facebook.

Crazy About Ideas item1

Where do you get your ideas? That's the number one question I get asked when people learn I'm an author. It's also, for me, one of the oddest. Because ideas are everywhere. They're like rainwater washing over me. Sometimes I wish the sun would shine every once in a while, push the thunderheads back and give me a chance to use all that lovely soft water I've collected. A chance to use it for bathing, watering the plants, washing the…well…you get the metaphorical picture. Ideas are not my problem. Funneling those ideas into plots that can float a novel length piece of fiction…now that's a different story.

But I digress because I actually planned on talking about where I got the idea for the Chrissy McMullen series I began several years ago. (UNZIPPED, the first in the series, was released by Random House in 2005.) Up until that point I had been writing a lot of other things, children's fiction, romantic comedy, historical romance. But my kids (little traitors that they are) were growing up and moving off to college, so I wanted to try something new. Something fun and different. I came up with a barrel of ideas. (Believe you me, you don't want to hear about them all…let me just say that the best of them involved a talking cat…in space….that's right, a talking space-cat.) Because of this plethora of ummm excellent ideas…I would often discuss my wonderous notions with my best friend, Mary, as we rode horse through the nearby park reserve. Mary is a psychologist who was, at the time, single and doing a lot of dating. She would often tell me about her clients (no names included, of course) and her dates. I would often think, these guys should be in therapy because holy moly they need help!

Anyway, I'm not sure when the notion to write about her life struck me exactly. But I know it should have hit sooner because it has been a fun-filled ride…like the tilt a wheel at Six Flags but without the puking. Now I readily admit that Chrissy McMullen is not exactly like Mary. Christina used to play the tuba. (Mary plays the accordion) Christina is an extremely reluctant jogger. (Mary is an extremely enthusiastic boxer.) Christina was once a bar maid in a classy joint called the Wart Hog. (Mary was a speech therapist.) But I believe they both dated about 75 men. Seventy five! That number is still fascinating to a girl who never topped the double digits.

Granted, as far as I know Mary has not found a single dead body in her office. This is, undoubtedly, a fact that would boggle Chrissy's mind because she can't swing a scythe without hitting a rotting corpse. But for me every idea has to encompass at least one moldering cadaver or where's the fun? Add a hot police lieutenant, a psychic starlet, and a half dozen other slightly disturbed characters to the plot and viola…I'm set for years.



SO HOW ABOUT YOU? What kind of mysteries do you like the most? Is there a limit to the body count before it begins to get gratuitous? Do you enjoy the metallic taste of fictional blood, the gory feel of guts slipping through your imaginary fingers, or would you just as soon the murders take place off stage and stay there?

To celebrate the online release of UNCORKED (available HERE) I'm giving away an Amazon gift card to one much appreciated commenter. Enter by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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