Thursday, September 17, 2015


This week Cheryl Baranski asks “I want to know if you ever wake up at night and have to write something down for the book that you are writing?”

Cheryl’s won a copy of Secret Refuge by Suspense Sister Dana Mentink!
Generally, a doctor’s handwriting isn’t the greatest when he’s awake and concentrating. I tried writing notes at night when I’d awaken from a deep sleep, but found that—even when I took them
to the neighborhood pharmacist for translation—they didn’t make sense. I think there was a Seinfeld episode once that had him waking up at 2 AM with an idea for a wonderful joke, but when he finally got what he wrote down translated, it made no sense. Well, that’s me when I try to jot down an idea that comes to me at night.

I’ve had ideas come to me when walking, when pushing the grocery cart, and even when watching TV, but I’ve never had a problem remembering them until I have a chance to type them into my computer. Stephen King calls this “letting the boys in the basement work,” and it’s bailed me out more than once.

Richard L. Mabry, MD

“Actually, I've had some frustration with this. I used to have a personal recorder in my bedside drawer so I could dictate ideas that
I might have in the middle of the night. And that worked. Once.

“Most of the time, I just flat don't wake up. In the morning, I will remember having great ideas in the middle of the night, and sometimes I can nudge them to the forefront of my mind. More often than not, they go off with the sandman, leaving only impressions behind.”

Marji Laine

“I don’t really wake up with ideas, but they certainly come once I get into bed. Or when I’m in the shower. I’ve had to get up many
times and write down something for a current WIP. I try to leave a notebook and pen near the bed, but sometimes I forget. Of course, that’s when inspiration strikes! LOL!”

Nancy Mehl

I usually have a flash of inspiration when I first turn out the lights, so I have this thingy called a Wobble Light. It's shaped like a
capsule and you tap in on the nightstand and it lights up enough for me to scribble a note to myself. Very handy for those "I just figured out how to get out of this fictional mess" moments.

Dana Mentink
Each week the Suspense Sisters (and our Suspense Mister) will answer a question from one of our followers. If you’d like to be a part of “Ask the Suspense Sisters” Thursday, leave a question in the comments below. We’ll pick a question and pose it to the Sisters! You could win a book written by one of the today’s top suspense/mystery authors or a gift certificate for Amazon! (Be sure to leave us your contact information. Any comment that doesn’t include a way to reach you will be disregarded.)


  1. In doing research for a book, what interesting thing did you find out ?
    Deana Dick

  2. I have wondered if you have ever written anything in your book(s) that is personal only to you or a few others, like a favorite pet's name, inside joke, special date, personal habit, etc.