Posted on November 30, 2015 - by

Fatal Reservations: The Things I Forgot to Say

I found this post in my draft folder–better late than never I suppose!
A few weeks ago, I had lunch and went walking with a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. She remarked how much my life has changed since we first met–back when I was a psychologist and an avid tennis player. And well before writing fiction was even a glimmer in my eye…

And she’s right, my life has changed. It is rich with writing friends who console me on the agonies of the business and celebrate the ecstasies. And it’s rich with people I’ve never met who read my books and are kind enough to write about their reactions. And rich with my new friends in Key West, both real and imaginary. My neighbor describes this series as a love letter to the island. And she’s right, too!

So on the birthday of the sixth book in the Key West series, the most important thing I want to say is THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, thanks to every single friend, reader, librarian, writer, bookseller!

On to the events of the day: FATAL RESERVATIONS, the sixth book in the Key West series is in bookstores today. You heard during our last “What We’re Writing” week that Hayley Snow’s great friend Lorenzo has been accused of murder. Then he disappears, leaving his new kitten with Hayley and Miss Gloria. And that only makes him look more guilty. So Hayley plunges in, trying to discover the secret he’s hiding.

You know by now that I can’t seem to help weaving real details into my stories. I’ll tell you about a few…

While I was writing this book, I saw this tattooed on a young man’s arm in the Miami airport: I used to disregard regret, but there are some things I can’t forget. I was so taken by the words, I had to ask him about it. He said it was a line from a song.

Of course I Googled it when I got home, and learned it’s from a song called NO WORDS, written and performed by MAKE DO AND MEND, a band I’d never heard of. I wrote the songwriter for permission to use that line and it’s become one of my Favorite Clues Ever.

photo by Carol Tedesco

And there was the matter of the cemetery burglar in Key West. Over the period of a year or more, again while I was writing this book, a series of unsolved, nighttime burglaries plagued the town, scaring the residents who lived in homes around the cemetery and baffling the police. The cemetery is a beautiful, spooky, historic place—a perfect mystery setting. I decided that Hayley’s houseboat-mate, Miss Gloria, would take a job as a cemetery tour guide so that she and Hayley would have reason to visit more than once. And that way I was able to echo the real suspense of the cemetery burglar in my fictional mystery.

And the food…yellow cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting, blue cornmeal pancakes, walnut-spinach pesto, nocciolato fudge…it’s a good thing I don’t gain weight just by writing about these things. (Nor will you gain by reading!)

And finally, I can’t help leaving you with one of my favorite cameo characters, Snorkel the Pig. I love this guy–he’s one of the street performers at Mallory Square. Here he is, performing in his full glory! He doesn’t do much more than this in the story, but really, should he have to?

Thanks again to each and every one of you! FATAL RESERVATIONS can be found wherever books are sold!

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