It’s interesting how we can see things more clearly when we look back at events, how it shapes the present and even the future. Here’s the real story behind my recent thriller novel Silent Partner.
Sometime during 2002, I had an idea for a screenplay. Yep, a full-length feature screenplay and not a novel. I wanted to write a story about a K9 cop, but not just any cop story. I wanted to show what it was like to be a K9 cop and to have a four-legged partner, the job and the reality.
But I didn’t stop there…
I created a cat and mouse storyline filled with action, thrills, and of course serial killers. So now I’ve creative a storyline with a K9 cop and serial killers.
Did that about cover it? Not quite.
I kept thinking that I wanted the main police dog to the hero Deputy Jack Davis to be a Labrador retriever and not just a scent detection dog, but also a police protection dog. I know what you’re thinking… an easy going Labrador as a hard biting police dog. Yeah right. Yawn… Police dogs are typically a German shepherd, Rottweiler or Belgian Malinois.
When I was researching this storyline, there was a black Labrador retriever (patrol dog) in Los Angeles at the time. He even had his photo taken in the paper. I knew that my idea wasn’t ridiculous. I kept digging and thinking.
I’m not telling the entire story. At the time, I also had a very driven young Labrador named Trucker. You see he wasn’t your ordinary family Lab. It’s not that he wasn’t friendly or loved people, and he was also known to love kittens and puppies too.
I had the incredible opportunity to train with the local police canine group. It was a fantastic experience because we trained in scent work and became certified, but I was also able to see first hand what it was like for the police officers too. This first hand research was priceless for my story.
I completed the screenplay, shopped it, got a few nibbles from a production company in Los Angeles and Canada, but eventually everything went quiet. The script sat in a filing cabinet in my office gathering dust.
At the beginning of last year, I decided that I wanted to adapt the screenplay into a novel. I know… that sounds backwards and maybe it was but I went ahead and did it anyway. It felt right and it gave me a break from my Emily Stone Series. I really wanted to write this story.
In the middle of writing Silent Partner, my best buddy and Labrador companion who was based in the novel got cancer. He wasn’t just my dog or pet, he was my protector, buddy and he would listen for hours when I’d final proof my books by reading aloud. Within three terrible days, he got sick, the cancer spread, and I had to say goodbye. It hit me hard – really hard. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to any pet, but Trucker was one of the truly special ones.
I was going to put the book aside and work on another project, but I decided that I wanted to push on and complete the story. It was difficult, but I felt better once I completed it.
I was struck with another blow earlier this year in April; an individual went haywire (that’s a nice way of describing it) and deleted my blog of two years along with my Facebook and Twitter accounts. This person did it out of hateful spite. How sad for people like this… It left me scrambling to build up my blog and social network accounts from scratch.
To make a LONG story short… thanks for reading this far.
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Earlier this week, I found out that Silent Partner was chosen as a finalist in not one but in two categories (suspense & thriller) at the 2011 Readers Favorite Awards. The winners will be announced on September 1st. I’m absolutely thrilled! I can’t help but think about all of those decisions I made that could have gone one way or another, and hardships I encountered to get to the contest finals.
It’s true if you wait out the bad times, something good is just around the corner. The moral to this story? Hang in there even when things seem bad or not going your way!
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting