Tag Archive for: The Case of the Amorous Assailant

“Thrilling and Unpredictable” – Where a Writer Got His Ideas

I’m delighted to welcome author Terry Ambrose as my guest to discuss his new series in the blog “Thrilling and Unpredictable” – Where a Writer Got His Ideas. I’ll be back next month – Debra 

Readers often ask writers where their ideas come from. In my case, the ideas are usually driven by a confluence of events. The Beachtown Detective Agency series idea was different in that the series concept came to me while we were on a weekend getaway to photograph two San Diego area piers.

My interest in piers started when my wife gave me a copy of Piers of the California Coast. After discovering San Diego had several piers, we decided to stay near Pacific Beach. It was a centralized destination with a nice B&B. It seemed like the perfect spot to stay because I was just starting the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series, and that made the B&B location a double win.

We walked into Pacific Beach the first night, wending our way through residential streets until we found ourselves approaching a funky little town with a boardwalk. This was in the days prior to Covid-19, so we didn’t worry about crowds or getting close to strangers. It was nearing 5PM as we made our way along Pacific Beach’s boardwalk. The place wasn’t just alive; it was positively chaotic!

People of all ages were everywhere. From kids to seniors, joggers and walkers to small groups hanging out. From the smell of coconut oil to marijuana, the energy consumed my attention. It reached out, grabbed me by the muse, and shook me with a fervor that demanded I write about it.

Almost on the spot, I began crafting a character who eventually became Jade Cavendish. Jade is twenty-six years old, spunky, and not quite ready to become an adult. She’s also forced to take over the family business when her father announces his sudden retirement.

I eventually moved the location of the series to Carlsbad, which is much closer to home. Carlsbad has a different energy. Where Pacific Beach is constant chaos and manic, the Village in Carlsbad is laid-back and quirky. But, as I integrated the change in location into the book, I realized that energy fit perfectly with my long-term goals for the series. The result was a book that Kirkus Reviews called, “…thrilling and unpredictable.”