Writing Inspiration for Crime Fiction: So This Happened on a 1600 mile Journey

Many of you don’t know that I moved from California to Texas last year. Yep, I’m in Texas now with summer heat and scary tornadoes. Remember, it’s a big wide open world out there to stay in one place forever. It’s been interesting and enlightening to say the least. People are kind and you just can’t beat that Texas hospitality. There were many reasons for my relocation, but I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll let you fill in the blanks. It’s just a stopping point, like the next chapter, until I figure out where my next homestead will be in the future.

So imagine this, buying a home, packing up my entire life, and then comes the dreaded “lockdown”. So what’s next? The ink on our contract wasn’t dry and we hadn’t left California yet. If you would like to have seen a major scramble dance—that was me and my husband.  Rental trucks were backed up. Motels and hotels were sketchy and sparse unless you were considered “essential”. I wanted to sit down and cry, or punch somebody, but that fighting spirit in me dusted myself off and forged ahead.

It took us almost another two months before we hit the open road and headed for the barn—so to speak. We drove—my husband behind the wheel of the largest moving truck we could rent and me in my car with a dog and two cats. We could only drive so many miles a day, so we were forced to stop at motels that would take us—since we were moving and could prove that our new location was in Texas. We ate our meals at large gas stations that had snacks and some fast food—since restaurants were closed. Did I mention that I had two cats and my German shepherd? That was fun. Insert sarcasm here.

The closest description I can relate to you was that we were headed into the great unknown with everything that was going on in the world. You know what I mean. So we stopped at our first motel. It was large but there were only a few other people staying there in the health and construction industries.

Once we arrived and checked into our room—completely exhausted and with two very indignant cats after about 600 miles of road. I took my German shepherd, Odin, out and we went for a nice walk. I stretched my legs and cleared my head, basically thinking about the book I was in the middle of writing—and of course new storylines. I’m always thinking about storylines and bad guys.

This particular motel was quite large, so I walked the grounds and down the outdoor hallways. When… a young man appeared from another building that was supposed to be vacant. He stumbled toward us bleeding and said that someone had stabbed him. Blood was gushing from his arm. Keep in mind Odin is a bred military grade type of dog, so he wasn’t particularly happy about this situation. I glanced around to make sure that there wasn’t a psycho running from a room wielding a bloody butcher knife. Then I instructed the young man sit down and apply pressure on his arm. It was nasty as he had left a trail of blood. By this time, the manager came out and said he had called the police (due to security cameras), but when he saw the blood up close, he became woozy. So I told him to sit down and catch his breath. So now, if you can imagine it, I have a bleeding man and a fainting motel manager in front of me while I waited for the police and ambulance to arrive.

People ask me all the time where I get my ideas and inspiration. And I answer, everywhere. It can be from a news headline, but it’s also from everyday things. It can be something on a walk or when you’re shopping at the grocery store. Inspiration is everywhere!

So back to the bleeding guy and the woozy motel manager… I was calm partly due to the fact that my dog kept a watchful eye for any other movement—he always has my back. The police showed up with three cruisers, then the fire truck, then an ambulance, and finally they had a CSI van. My little walk turned into a full-blown investigation unfolding in front of me. I have to say that the CSI vehicle was one of the most awesome ones I had ever seen. I hung around a bit. It was funny that the police officers asked me if I had been a cop or in the military. Wow. I was stunned. I politely told them that I was a crime fiction author—basically, I just make up stories. And everyone laughed. I’m still not quite sure if they really believed me or not.

It turned out that the bleeding guy had broken into one of the rooms with two undisclosed people (one woman and one man) and a fight broke out—and I’m sure that you can probably fill in the blanks. So, to make a long story short, I ran into some inspiration that day and you never know where you’re going to find it. I can’t wait for my journey around Texas checking out small towns and ghost towns—you never know what I’ll run into.



Detective Katie Scott Thriller

Book 6

Available now at:

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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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2 Responses to Writing Inspiration for Crime Fiction: So This Happened on a 1600 mile Journey

  1. Wow, what an experience, and surely enough, sometimes truth can indeed be stranger than fiction. And it’s so cool that you have an awesome doggo sidekick!


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