Friday, 26 October 2012

Pocket crime ideas.....

Firstly, sorry not to have posted on Wednesday, but I was still on holiday in Turkey. Being away is wonderful for the writing mind. For a start I always read loads on holiday. Also, new locations always give me a portfolio of ideas to work on. I have been looking for a crime/suspense idea for my next pocket novel and new scenery made me think of how important the setting is to some crime novels. One of the films available in the house we rented was 'Insomnia' with Al Pacino. He plays an LA detective sent to remotest Alaska to investigate a murder. That region in summer has nearly 24 hour daylight resulting in the insomnia which plagues the detective - the very distinct landscape and constant daylight become almost like a character in the story. What's more the detective's guilt over a past incident came back to torture him during his sleepless nights.

I was visiting Turkey in the last few weeks of the holiday season. Although we stayed in a resort, Kalkan which is much like any other, it was eerily quiet and there was a feeling of the 'real' Turkey coming back to claim the land during the winter. When one day, we hired a car to drive from the busy beach resort into the hills I had no idea what a scary adventure it would become. Petrol being now as expensive in Turkey as it is in England, we only half filled the tank. We also woefully misjudged the distance into the hills which quickly became mountainous and remote. Before we knew it we had gone too far to get back easily and were dangerously close to running out of fuel on deserted steep roads where the odd goatherder was the only inhabitant. Add to that a frightening storm with the loudest thunder and brightest lightening I had ever seen and the setting was ripe for a scarey crime novel. We had gone so far up, we were in the clouds on slippery roads with hairpin bends.

We could easily have been stranded, without a word of Turkish and forced to find shelter for the night. The area has a rich history of antiquities being looted from sites like nearby Xanthos and taken out of the country by sea.

Suddenly I had a possible motive for murder, and thoughts of lost treasure which could easily be hidden in the mountains or shipped away at night in a small boat from the many isolated coves like this one just below our holiday rental....

I am so pleased that pocket novels now have a stronger crime/mystery/suspense line and now, armed with my photos and memories of Turkey I am set to write one with a setting which will become a character in its own right. All I need to do is follow Sally's advice and use NANOWRIMO to give me the impetus to get it written! I wonder how many other of you writers have had a particular setting which has inspired you and got the creative mind ticking away.....

I have blogged about the historical sites in Lycia over at my personal blog


  1. Fantastic blog - really envious of your holiday. Glad you got the bones of a story out of it as a bonus! Thanks for the pics as well as the narrative.

  2. Thanks Patricia, the Turkish people are so friendly and welcoming. Even if we had been caught up in the hills, I'm sure they'd have shared a bit of lamb kebab and sheeps cheese with us! Cara

  3. I'm looking forward to reading your PN when it's finished to see how you interweave your Turkish experiences into it. I'd love to try a crime PN but I think it must be difficult structuring them and laying clues, red herrings and so on.It's great that the Easy Reads have widened what can be written about.
    As for settings, I find Glasgow very inspirational as a backdrop. People who don't know it immediately think it's a very violent place. And yes it is, in some areas but it's also a fantastic shopping and theatre venue and has lovely parks and wild areas and even farms within its city boundaries so lots to write about. I love it and hope that shows when I write about it.
    Any other PN writers joining in on NaNo? It would be great to support each other over there.

  4. Isn't it amazing when a story emerges as you're least expecting it? I'm hoping Cornwall will provide its usual inspiration when I get there next week plus there's all the great people watching at airports and on the trains.Good luck getting your story written.

  5. Good post -thanks, Cara. Rainstorms,hairpin bends and no fuel - perfect suspense setting.

  6. Hi Carol, I'd love to go to Glasgow. I've only been there once, we whizzed through it in the car at about 6am en route to a tiny Scottish island called Lismore but one of these days I'll give it the time it deserves. Angela, saw your PN today and Sally's prominently placed by the tills in my local Morrisons. I've now bought all 4 easy reads and cannot wait to get into them. I love Cornwall particularly the quieter North coast, it's totally inspirational. Fenella, I started my Turkish suspense today and so far (ok, I'm only 200 words in it's true) it's going well!