Thursday, February 18, 2016


This week, Marilyn asks: “Do you have a favorite place to go to create the characters for a new book?”

For submitting her question, Marilyn’s won signed copies of RX Murder and Silent Night, Deadly Night, by Dr. Richard Mabry!   

If you have a question for us, leave it below. You might be our next winner! You could win a book by one of today’s top suspense/mystery writers – or a gift certificate to Amazon! (Questions submitted without contact information won’t be considered.)

Good question. Since my books take place in southern towns far from home, I must spend time observing/interviewing those in the vocations of my characters. Recently I've observed hotel bellmen, cocktail waitresses, bed-n-breakfast owners, a small town police chief, and a sax player in a blues club. It makes for some interesting vacations.....

Mary Ellis

Each of my characters is generally an amalgam of the people I’ve encountered over the years—doctors, nurses, patients, technicians,
ministers, church-goers, bankers, clerks…the list goes on and on. So, no, there’s no favorite place for me. Ideas…and characters…are everywhere.

Richard L. Mabry, MD


I don't "go" to any particular place, though I have seen quirks at restaurants and other public places that I ended up using for different characters.

Marji Laine

When I started out, I’d go to malls, restaurants, parks, etc., and watch people. Write down things they did – different ways they reacted to stimulus. I don’t do that now, but to be honest, I think it’s still a great idea. We can get into a rut with our characters unless we’re willing to expand our horizons. I do notice different character traits on TV shows, movies, or in other novels that I’ve implemented in my own writing.

Nancy Mehl


  1. Have you ever been accused of plagiarism?

  2. Have you written characters that represented real people in your life? Did they figure out you were writing about them? Thanks, Kristie Porter tklovenest (at) {aol}. [com]

  3. What is your favorite character you have written? kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

  4. How do you choose the setting for your story?
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

  5. A lot of authors I've read about spend lots of time at coffee shops with their lap tops. Do any of you find you have to have a particular drink or snack by you as you write to get you through? Or like a "good omen" such as one that wears a favorite ball game to "help their team win"?