Today we’re joined by Luke Murphy, international bestselling author of the Calvin Watters Mysteries and the Charlene Taylor Mysteries, here to discuss where he gets the ideas for his books. Luke played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. He’s also worked as a radio journalist and currently teaches and writes an award-winning sports column. Learn more about Luke and his books at his website.
One of the fun aspects about writing and releasing novels is that you know that once your friends and family read your books, they will never look at you the same again. It’s funny to hear my wife’s friends tell her that she should sleep with one eye open, because I have a really weird mind.
People often ask me where my ideas come from.
My books are complete works of fiction. I don’t base the characters or plots on any real people or events. Any familiarities are strictly coincidence.
There is not a single moment in time when my ideas come to be, but circumstances over the years that lead to my stories: personal experiences, observations, news stories, things I hear from friends and family members.
You can say that I’m old school. While many authors probably add their ideas to their iPhones, I always carry a notebook around. If I get an idea, if I hear of something that could potentially turn into a great, entertaining story, I jot it down.
My wife calls me an introvert, because I’m not a big talker. But I enjoy listening and observing, and it’s during those conversations and watching when ideas occur to me. Whether it’s hearing a story that might ignite an idea, or just seeing someone somewhere, watching their mannerisms and physical appearance that could spark a character in my next novel.
My books become real from mixing these events, taking advantage of experts in their field and adding my wild imagination. The internet also provides a wealth of information, available at our fingertips with a click of the mouse.
I’ve been very fortunate to meet some people who are willing to share their vast knowledge and experience to help in my research purposes. These selfless individuals take time out of their busy careers to answer questions, and also have me wondering about endless possibilities. I’ve worked with police departments, medical experts, city attorneys, etc.
Plot: I get my ideas from stories I hear about, whether through reading (newspapers, magazines, etc.), what I hear (radio) or what I see (TV, movies, internet, etc.). The plot is completely fictional. I wouldn’t say that one thing or person influences my writing, but a variety of my life experiences all have led to my passion in the written word.
Setting: I usually set my stories in cities I’ve visited and fell in love with, and if I haven’t visited, the internet basically puts me right there.
Main Characters: I think that every main character created by an author has a touch of themselves in there somewhere. I’ve used much of my athletic background when creating my protagonist Charlene Taylor. Even though Taylor is female, I’ve created a tomboy, a “son her father never had”, in making her athletic and tough.
A Charlene Taylor Mystery, Book 2
An aunt’s worst nightmare…
In the city of Denver, a series of baby kidnappings has the town devastated. With no ransom demands and no contact from the perpetrators, local law enforcement is at a dead end. No motive equals no answers.
A cop’s personal obsession…
Charlene Taylor’s niece becomes a victim, and the LAPD detective is thrown headfirst into a whirlwind case with similarities to one from seven years earlier. Out of her jurisdiction, and with no friends or leads, Charlene must walk-the-line between cop and sister.
Who can she trust?
Charlene has to decide who’s an ally, and when an unlikely partner steps forward, they must race against the clock: because that critical 48 hour window has come and gone.