Research – What Came First, the Plot or the Vacation?

by Kate Carlisle

One of my manuscripts stuck on a shelf deep inside the bedroom closet, never to see the light of day, involves a heroine who must travel from her home in San Francisco to the West Coast of Scotland in order to unravel an ancient mystery. Along the way, of course, she meets a really cute Interpol agent and falls in love with him and settles in the Highlands.

It’s got everything — romance, mystery, a touch of paranormal, and location, location, location.

This is how I like to plot my books—and plan my vacations. My husband has learned to live with it. If I need to see Etruscan pottery at the British Museum, then he’ll need to see the selection of bitters on tap at the Museum Tavern across the street. If I’ve got to pop into the London Transport Museum to look at carriages, I’ll find him later in one of the Covent Garden pubs, researching single malt scotch. It works for us.

My next book will involve a killing in a wine bar on the Ile St. Louis. Our intrepid heroine will track the killer—and the wine shipment—all the way to Castellina in Chianti. She’ll stay in a 17th century stone house overlooking the rolling hills and vineyards of Tuscany. She’ll dine on wild boar and mushroom risotto served with a fine Brunello di Montalcino, and finally trap the killer in an ancient wine cellar. No bottles will be broken, no alcohol spilled, in the pursuit of justice.

Hey, it’s my process!

What’s your process? What comes first? The plot or the characters—or the vacation plans?

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

Buy now!
#Me Too

A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

Buy now!
A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

CITY OF BLAZE

Buy now!
CITY OF BLAZE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

COWBOY KARMA

Buy now!
COWBOY KARMA

DANGER MUSIC

Buy now!
DANGER MUSIC
FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

GIRL IN THE MIST

Buy now!
GIRL IN THE MIST

HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

Buy now!
HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
INTIMATE RELATIONS

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

SAVAGED SURRENDER

Buy now!
SAVAGED SURRENDER
SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

Buy now!
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Buy now!
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE LIFE OF RILEY

Buy now!
THE LIFE OF RILEY

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

THE WOULD BE MOMMY

Buy now!
THE WOULD BE MOMMY
THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

HER LOST LOVE

Buy now!
HER LOST LOVE
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

CLEAR INTENT

Buy now!
CLEAR INTENT
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

DARK WINE AT DUSK

Buy now!
DARK WINE AT DUSK

DEAD BLOW

Buy now!
DEAD BLOW

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

HER COWBOY KING

Buy now!
HER COWBOY KING

HIDDEN BETRAYAL

Buy now!
HIDDEN BETRAYAL

HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

Buy now!
HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

Buy now!
ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

REWRITING THE PAST

Buy now!
REWRITING THE PAST
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN
SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Buy now!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE DEVIL’S CARESS

Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS

THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

Buy now!
THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

Buy now!
THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

Buy now!
THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

TRACKING SHADOWS

Buy now!
TRACKING SHADOWS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
  • Anonymous says:

    Kate, no worries, I won’t kill you. Minions must stick together, you know!

    By the way, I should learn to read what I write and clean up the spelling! I’m so sloppy….

  • Anonymous says:

    Ooh Jen, I love your process, especially the frantic mood swings! But my life really isn’t all that great, so please don’t kill me, LOL.

    Maureen, hi! I love the idea of “researching” Irish pubs! I find great inspiration in a pint of Harp lager. 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    Kate….I knew you were talented, didn’t realize you were also BRILLIANT!!! God, that’s a great process!

    For me, characters come first, then I figure out what the location is and then the story, because the story inevitably grows out of LOCATION! And oh yeah, love to go back to Scotland and Ireland for my ‘research’!!

    Writing is a great job!

  • Anonymous says:

    Kate, I want your process! Never mind your process, I want you life! It sounds like so much fun…

    But wait, what if someone (a fictional character) REALLY wanted your life? And she decided she had to kill you to get it?

    There’s the beginning of my process. From there, I descend into wild mood swings of frantically working the idea, and then panicking that it’s a really bad idea and I’ll never pull it off.

    You have a MUCH BETTER PROCESS!

  • Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM