Thanks for letting me visit with you, Delilah! I thought it would be fun to share the story behind the story with your readers. Let me back up a minute. The first question usually starts: Where do authors get their ideas?
Someone told me they think an author’s brain is a scary place! We do constantly ask, “What if…?”
Sometimes a daydream offers a story start, but ideas and inspiration can show up in the strangest places. My husband and I were in eastern Washington state, hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in So About The Money, the first book in the Holly Price Mystery series). We had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind really can go strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to find a body?”
Fortunately, he laughed.
That germ of an idea—a body in the middle of nowhere—kept growing. Why would the heroine be at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?
The idea for In It For The Money (Book 4 in the series) came while I was chatting with a friend’s nephew at a party. He was all excited about designing some bizarre machine called a Rockcrawler. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I picked up on his passion. And my writer’s brain went, Hmmm… Rockcrawlers… That’s different.
Let me explain Rockcrawling—or rather, here’s how Holly described the sport to her friend, Laurie Gordon, after Holly dragged Laurie to the opening day events:
“Two guys were sitting on their back porch, drinking.” Holly raised her wine glass and Laurie clicked the rim. “One polished off his beer, belched, and popped open another can. He pointed at the vacant lot next door and said, ‘Betcha I can drive my truck over those rocks.'”
“You’re lying.” Laurie narrowed her eyes.
“Swear to God.” Holly raised her right hand. “And since God takes care of idiots and drunks, the first one made it over—alive—and his friend and all their friends had to try. And their friends…” She waved at the scene before them.
Continuing that excerpt…
Beyond the last vendor booth, Holly saw another jacked-up truck rumble toward the enormous pile of boulders that marked the start of the rockcrawler course. The crowd shifted, watching the truck’s progress up the torturous 45-degree angle.
Just past a short series of tented seating—the sponsors’ section and some “premium seats”—an array of parked pickup trucks overflowed the designated parking area. Men—and a few women—stood in the beds for an elevated view. More than one person had climbed onto the top of the truck’s cab. The coolers and grills gave new meaning to the term “tailgate party.”
Holly waved a hand at the crowded areas beside the course. She wasn’t sure what to call the space. The stands? Infield? Peanut gallery? “Trucks climbing over rocks may be nuts, but this is fun. It’s like a big party.”
“Clearly, you don’t get out enough,” Laurie said dryly.
“’Course, when you told me rockcrawling was a big deal, I about laughed my ass off. I mean, seriously? Rockcrawlers? I still can’t believe they drive trucks over big piles of rocks.” Laurie worked in admin at the local hospital. The Boulder Bounders sporting event wasn’t exactly her scene, either. “I’ve never seen so much alcohol and testosterone in the same place. It’s like a slow-mo NASCAR race with giant wheels.”
“And rocks. Don’t forget the rocks,” Holly said. For a moment, she longingly watched the partying instead of the competing truck. She needed to, make that wanted to, invite friends over for a cookout at her house—if she could find an open afternoon in her overcrowded schedule.
Yeah, good luck with that.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.
When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her already shaky relationship with JC.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cathy Perkins started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.