The Story Behind the Story – Part Six – Lethal Resuscitation
By the time I began writing Book six, I had signed a contract with my publisher and was committed to getting the thing down whether I liked it or not! There is a real genuine fear I think in most writers, if they are honest, that they might never complete another book and I certainly feel it still even now. By this point, I had managed five books but I didn’t believe I’d get to the end of a sixth and yet, I had no choice! So it was basically bum on seat and get going!
As some of you may know, my husband is a general practitioner and he often comes home and offloads about his practice work knowing that having done the same job, I’ll understand. I don’t exactly take notes but when he told me about a trainers course he was attending at a local hotel, I think it did suggest to me a nice place for Dr Cathy Moreland to discover another body!
Getting your protagonist out into different situations and environments is often a really good way to spark interest and the change of scene in Lethal Resuscitation when Cathy attends an advance life support course at a fancy country hotel, does just that, I hope!
But almost as soon as I began writing the hotel scenes and describing the quite claustrophobic atmosphere, I knew that I had to have a different setting to counterbalance it. To explain, I did have a good idea of my killer and possible motive, but it was not set in stone and this is often the way I begin. I get a feel for the place or characters and then suddenly know what the book needs.
And so, my alternating chapters are not based in the country hotel but on the remote fictional Scottish island of Skeln. Here, I could really juxtapose the oppressiveness of Cathy’s situation with the vast wilderness of island life. My mum grew up on the very real Hebridean island of Iona and many of our childhood holidays were there so I had an investment in making those scenes poignant and impactful. I think I did ok. My editor came back to me having read the first draft saying that she cried reading the island chapters! I hope you feel the love I put into them and the rest of the book too. Happy reading!