I admit to having a criminal mind, and consider it to be an absolute necessity for mystery and thriller writers. We need to be devious by nature in order to contrive the dastardly acts we describe.
Imagine the interesting, potentially questionable, and possibly arrest-worthy situations such a brain such as mind can cause. For instance, I once spent an hour leaning over the side of a footbridge in Civita di Bagnoregio in Italy trying to phantom how best to run a Maserati over the edge. While discussing the possible scenarios with my husband, at least one eavesdropper was seen inching away from me as quickly as his sneakers would carry him.
We must also be dogged researchers.
While researching that same novel, Beautiful Survivor, I also plunged deep into the world of Campagna citizens living with the realities of the Camorra crime families. One reader accused me of giving into the Italian Mafia/Camorra stereotype–you know, the one were every Italian family must know or have experience with one or two major crime families? But that stuff is real, folks. Check out the garbage collection woes in Naples, if you don’t believe me.
Which brings me to my new series, Downside Up, launching this year. For this setting, I’ll be journeying to London to research details of how to spy at roof-level, specifically Victorian terrace house roof-level. My character will be tracking down a serial killer above ground in the Chelsea area, which requires me to peer at homeowner’s rooftops for an unseemly amount of time. The question is: will I have the courage to ring the bell and inform said homeowner that I am but a lowly author and not a prospective cat burglar? These are dangerous times in London. I can only hope my look of innocence holds up under scrutiny.