Round Robin Blog Fest

And we're back!
Welcome to another issue of the Round Robin Blog Fest for September 2019.

Our question this month is:  
In designing your plots, what do you rely on most:  Personal experience, imagination, or research?

A great deal of my plots and writing come from a combination of personal experience and imagination, with a dash of research to make sure I get my facts straight.

We all have those "what if" moments in life. What if I'd gone back to school instead of simply changing jobs? What if I stopped writing for good? What if I took a chance and did something I always wanted to do? I find that allowing myself to ask what if can lead to a great story.

In my current work in progress, an A.J. Cadell Mystery, my main character is presented the opportunity to take a chance. When she almost chickens out, her roommate asks, "What would the main character in your novel do?" No brainer. Alison takes the leap and her life is changed forever, with a few hiccups along the way or it wouldn't be a very interesting novel.

My Gilda Wright series came about while I was a receptionist at a karate school (a job Gilda does in the books). I was also training in goju-ryu karate, just as Gilda does. The difference was I ended up with injuries and so on that changed my life. The plots for the Gilda series came from a combination of all three. I had the personal experience of being a karate school receptionist who trained in karate. I used my imagination to come up with the stories. I researched (both for the books and for my own training and job) the information used in the books when it pertains to karate, mixed martial arts, and jiu jitsu as well as finding just the right location for the novels. I ended up with a fictional town along the shores of Lake Erie based on a similar town called Dunkirk.

My Wild Blue Mysteries was inspired by being a stranger in a small town, much like Katie Mullins ends up. When I moved here, I joined a writing group and found some great local places to write and walk. My imagination took the series to odd places with the writing group as well as those crazy what ifs. As for research, since I used my new hometown as the main setting, I had to get to know the area a lot better. While some places are made up, some are real places with great features that I love.

Glitter Bay Mysteries features a small vintage boutique and a tea house. Personal experience? I love little second hand shops, but that's as far as I go. My imagination and a lot of research went into All That Sparkles. I've never really been a clothing or jewelry buff, but found some things online that intrigued me. Since this was only the first of the series, I need to do more digging to see what Laken and her sister Sage find next.

Thanks for hanging out with me to read my answer to this month's question.
Below is the list of other authors participating, I hope you check them all out!

Margaret Fieland 
Victoria Chatham 
Skye Taylor 
Beverley Bateman 
Dr. Bob Rich 
Diane Bator 
Connie Vines 
Anne Stenhouse  
Rhobin L Courtright 


  1. Hi Diane, You've made such good use of your own experience. I think we're all agreed this month that it takes a mix of the three elements to produce story. anne stenhouse

  2. Interesting post. I enjoyed how you used your experience in your books.


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