jamcandrews

Story Osmosis

With the advent of Netflix and other streaming or on demand video services, the act of marathoning a television show has become so commonplace as to be almost…normal. Of course, most people, when they marathon a program or film series, actually watch what’s on their screen.

Yeah, I do it a little differently.

Book One: Ill-Gotten Panes. The first installment in my stained glass mystery series was written with a steady stream of TV’s “Psych” Season One playing in the background. There was Sean and Gus and Lassiter and Jules cruising around Santa Barbara, getting to know one another, and solving crimes. It was the perfect reflection of what I needed to accomplish in my writing: introduce main character Georgia Kelly, establish her surroundings, create a group of friends and cohorts to help her along as she tries to solve the murder of the hardware store owner and settle into her life as a returned resident of Wenwood NY. I didn’t pay close attention to anything on my television screen, but with such terrific writing playing out in the background, inspiration was easy to grab.

Book Two: Death Under Glass. For what it’s worth, I did attempt to return to the world of “Psych” for my background marathon, but it just wasn’t doing the trick. What did? Harry Potter. Specifically, “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Goblet of Fire” (which ABC Family conveniently marathoner for me pretty much every weekend). Akin to Harry’s return to Hogwarts, Death Under Glass allowed me to revisit Wenwood and all the characters I had last spent time with when the first book was finished. Old friends, new challenges, settling into one’s place in the world—the parallels helped me find a rhythm in my writing and kept me moving happily forward.

Book Three: A Shattering Crime. This is where it all went sideways. ABC Family had become some new network that mysteriously stopped airing Harry Potter on all weekends that included a Sunday, and somehow I kept paying attention to “Psych” instead of letting it distract my subconscious. Fortunately, I did stumble onto a new genre of marathon to occupy the background space. Superheroes. Specifically, Thor.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m going to present some insightful parallel between Thor’s struggles in Asgard and Georgia’s situation in Wenwood. Some equivalence between Jane Foster’s investigations into astronomical phenomena and Georgia’s investigation into the death of a local activist and the disappearance of bakery owner Rozelle. Maybe some insight into the major characters of both story worlds accepting their respective destiny.

While those things may indeed be true, there exists the overwhelming fact that I find blond-haired, blue-eyed men who wield hammers endlessly inspirational. Either that or by the end of A Shattering Crime Georgia Kelly reveals herself as the mundane alter ego of a bad ass superhero.

You’ll have to read the book to find out.