Monday, July 6, 2015

The Strange Things That Fascinate Suspense Writers

You do not want to know the search history of your favourite writer. Particulary, but not limited to suspense, thriller, crime, mystery, or romantic suspense writers. Heck, probably any writer who has ever plotted anything. Ever.

You just...don't. Trust me.

Because there are times I get a tiny bit paranoid about the information I'm searching for and I can't help wondering if the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has some kind of cyber division who has set it's search engine optimization meta data parameters to red-flag people innocently searching for ways to shoot a peson without actually killing them. Can you imagine that conversation?

RCMP cyber crimes officer1:  Get this, Rick. This one's not even pretending to be subtle.
RCMP cyber crimes officer2:  Do they ever?
RCMP cyber crimes officer1:  Abdominal gun shot wounds. Seems she's not interested in killing someone though, just maiming them. Wants to know how long it would take to bleed out.
RCMP cyber crimes officer2:  Writer?
RCMP cyber crimes officer1:  Got it in one.
RCMP cyber crimes officer 2:  Why can't they watch porn like everyone else?

So, when you don't have to go looking for felonious information because it literally lands in your lap along with your morning tea, all the better.  Headline in Saturday's paper: Sinister Plots Sprout From a Poison Garden. This particular garden is found at Alnwick Castle, not far from the Scottish border. You've seen it in the Harry Porter movies. It's where Harry learned to fly a broom. But I digress, because...

A. Poison. Garden.

Now I'm obsessed with the idea of one of my characters (somewhere down the line) tending her or his own poison garden.  I mean people grow things all the time that can be harmful to your health, just ask anyone who's had a baby or a pet. The Washington Post article by Diane Roberts mentions daffodils, that lovely, harbinger of spring. Did you know that ingesting a bulb will hospitalize, if not kill you? That catnip makes humans mean and violent, which is why the hangman would eat a bunch before an execution?

Inspiration has struck.

Setting: Ex-Husband's Summer House

Cunning Villain:  I brought salad.
Not-so-Innocent Victim:  Thank you. That's very kind. Um...were you invited?
Cunning Villain:  Made with fixings right from my very own garden. A peace offering of sorts.
Not-so-Innocent: Victim:  It's looks delicious, but I don't think I recognize some of the ingredients.
Cunning Villain:  New type of greens. Very popular with the hipster crowd. Especially if eaten ironically.
Not-so-Innocent Victim:  Right.
Cunning Villain:  So glad we can get together like this after everything that's happened.

So, what does your search history reveal about you? Are you a gardener? Every read a book in which poisonous plants played a role?

A lupin from my garden, which is not poisonous. As far as I know...

3 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

LOL, I love your conversations! It's been a while since I did any really interesting searches, but yeah, I'm probably on a watchlist somewhere. :waves at the NSA: The searches for locations in D.C. alone would put there. Add in the search for a tunnel-digging machine and they're probably thinking I'm some nutjob. Good thing the searches on grammar sites probably alerted them to my real purpose. ;o)

jblynn said...

LOL -- I worry about what they'd think about my search history too.

I recently read a mystery where someone was killed with something poisonous from the garden, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. Maybe once I've had more coffee.

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