Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ideas Along Country Roads by Marta Perry

Many of my books revolve around the Amish and other Plain people in our part of rural Pennsylvania. One summer morning my husband and I had an opportunity to take a buggy ride along the back roads of a nearby county with an Amish driver, so of course we were quick to take advantage of that fact. As Amos and my husband chatted about their similar experiences growing up on farms, I soaked in the beauty of the surroundings, which seemed so different when seen from the slow pace of the buggy. The pastures, hay fields, and corn fields created a patchwork that reminded me of an Amish quilt.

Only one thing interrupted the pastoral scene—a raw new building along a country lane, its sharp angles and brash colors an annoying clash with the image I had been so happily creating in my mind.

“What is that?” I asked, pointing.

Our driver frowned in the direction of the intrusion. “A new motel, as if we didn’t have enough already. On prime farmland, too.” He shook his head. “Not supposed to be able to get permission to do that without hearing from the public, ain’t so? But all of a sudden that building was going up, with all the permits already granted. I’m guessing the owner just knew the right person.”

I commiserated, but I probably sounded a bit distracted, because his words had already set a plot twist dancing in my mind—a twist that eventually found its way into my newest suspense novel, Danger in Plain Sight, out now from HQN Books.

Ideas, so they say, are everywhere, and sometimes they’re handed to you with no effort at all!

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