Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My Harlequin Nocturne ALASKAN WOLF is a December release, and is now available. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the next in my Alpha Force miniseries about shapeshifters.

Where I live is near property once owned by the man many people used to think of as The Wolfman--Lon Chaney, Jr. In fact, my husband and I were the owners of a piece of that property a long time ago. Was I inspired by my predecessor and long-gone neighbor to write about werewolves? Definitely!

Of course, when I’ve sometimes asked younger folks if they even know who Lon Chaney, Jr., is, or some of the other early film stars, they look at me blankly. What a shame.

Have I had other inspirations for my writing? Absolutely! I inspired myself, in a way--with the help of my older Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lexie, to write my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series. Kendra is a lawyer who lives in the Hollywood Hills with her Cavalier Lexie. Me, too. Kendra’s my alter ego. On the other hand, I’m just as glad I didn’t become a murder magnet as she did, having to clear herself and her friends from suspicions of killing people. And, yes, Lexie has been an ongoing inspiration in that series.

My younger Cavalier, Mystie, inspired the character of the elusive kitty who appeared in my ninth Kendra book, FELINE FATALE. That cat kept getting loose in a condo complex and managed to cause the controversy that resulted in that cozy mystery’s murder. Thanks, Mystie!

Then there’s my upcoming Pet Rescue Mystery Series. I introduced Lauren Vancouver, the protagonist of that series, in HOWL DEADLY, one of Kendra’s adventures. She is a pet rescuer who runs HotRescues, a no-kill shelter. She just turned up one day in my head and said I needed to feature her in a subplot, so how could I refuse? She also appeared in FELINE FATALE. As time went on, Lauren made it clear, in her no-nonsense way, that she required her own series to help call attention to how many animals are out there who need to find good homes--and how many are subject to abuse of various, sad kinds. Yep, Lauren and the wonderful pet rescuers I’ve met in the name of research inspired me, too. The first in Lauren’s new series, BEAGLEMANIA, will be published in March 2011.

I think about them all a lot right now, with the warm, emotional times of the holidays around us. My inspirations remain in my head and in my fingers as I continue to write--when I’m not volunteering at Pet Orphans or shopping for gifts for the family.

I’ve no doubt that my fellow Killer Hobbyists are inspired by their wonderful crafts to write about them as delightfully as they do.

What are your favorite inspirations, and what have you done with them?


Janie Emaus said...

My grandkids inspire me with their crazy stories. And then reading a really good book inspires me to write even better.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I love the wildness of kids' imaginations, Janie! And, yes, reading others' works, especially the good stuff, is another inspiration for me.

Betty Hechtman said...

I am inspired by your versatility and how you keep coming out with books.

I know it isn't, but you make it look easy. (written with a cat on my lap trying to get all of my attention.)

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Betty. It's not always easy, but it's fun! I like your kitty being on your lap--an inspiration, I'm sure.