Saturday, January 30, 2010
A Stitch in Crime
All of a sudden I realized A Stitch in Crime comes out this coming Tuesday. That’s the problem with living in the moment, the future shows up and surprises you.
I can’t believe my fourth book is about to be released. Each of them have been special in their own ways.
I really enjoyed doing the research for A Stitch in Crime. The crochet part is always great. I love the challenge of coming up with a pattern and trying it out. I can justify my time spent in yarn departments and crocheting as work.
In this book Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers head up to the Monterey Peninsula for a creative retreat. So travel became part of the research. Although I had been to the Asilomar Conference Center where the fictional retreat takes place, it didn’t take much to convince me I really out to go there again.
Asilomar is rustic and moody and a great place to set a murder. Terri can vouch for that. My biggest problem was not to slow the story down with too much description. But there is just so much about the place to describe. The way the air smells of wood smoke, pine and ocean. The fact it was built as a YWCA camp and some of the weathered wood sided buildings are from the early 1900s.
The funny part is that though the area is right up there on my list of favorite places, it didn’t start out that way. The first time I went to Asilomar was for a California Writers Club conference. I made the mistake of letting them set me up with a roommate. The room we were to share was small, and the interior all dark wood. My roommate started talking the minute she walked in and didn’t stop. She took over the room, insisting on the curtain being closed, along with the windows. With all that dark wood and everything closed up, I felt like I was stuck inside a box.
I didn’t sleep and she awoke at 5:30 and started talking again. Incessant chatter, mostly about herself and how her husband decided not to come. Hmm, I wonder why. The final blow came when she followed me into the bathroom. The teeny tiny bathroom that just had a toilet and shower (the sink was in the room). I was going to use the shower. You can figure out what she was planning to do. I opted out of the shower.
Bleary eyed from not sleeping and worn down from her babbling, all I could think about was leaving. I didn’t notice how silky white the sand was or how wonderful the air felt. I didn’t enjoy the friendly meals in the dining hall or any of the workshops. By noon I was headed back to L.A., muttering under my breath how much I didn’t like the place and I was never coming back there again.
Flash forward a couple of years to a family trip up Highway 1. We stopped in Pacific Grove and ended up staying at an Inn across the street from Asilomar. Without the roommate from hell and with some sleep, everything looked different and I fell in love with the area.
The cool part was that all the time I was writing the book, I was smelling that pungent air and feeling the ocean breeze in my head.