Inspiration Comes From the Strangest Places by Kim Smith, Author of Buried Angel
Our friend Kim Smith returns today to talk about the latest book in her Shannon Wallace cosy mystery series, Buried Angel.
Shannon Wallace is finding trouble in the most bizarre places these days, but not as bizarre as the ones her sidekick Dwayne Brown is finding. When his friend, Bubba, is found stuffed in a cooler in his flower shop, the hunt is on to find his killer.
Could it be Bubba’s sister who is now his heir, or maybe one of the flower shop guys who worked with Bubba? You can be sure the dreadful duo of Shannon and Dwayne won’t rest until they have helped South Lake’s police department, and the Hispanic hottie investigator, Sal Ramirez, find his man. Or was that woman?
"Inspiration Comes From the Strangest Places" by Kim Smith
It’s interesting to note that when I wrote Buried Angel, I had no idea that some of it would be situated in a cemetery, the least popular place on earth for this author. Cemeteries in the south are pretty cool places, however, and worth noting that they are sometimes set up as historical landmarks due to the famous persons buried in them.
South Lake, Mississippi is a fictional place. I made it up from knowledge of a couple of places near where I live. Likewise, Scott’s Funeral Home and Cemetery is a fictional place from several similar places nearby.
I have used the small cemetery on the corner of two really busy streets, the funeral home in the middle of a small town, the cemetery where my parents are buried, and the funeral home where my mother-in-law was memorialized.
The catalyst that sent me off to write this book was when I was on the way to a doctor’s appointment and ended up behind a hearse. The thing that came to my mind was, why on earth do they put curtains in a hearse? They doll them all up and make them look pretty. For what purpose? It isn’t like the passengers care!
This led to Shannon Wallace and how she would ask that very question and how she would react if she had to work in a cemetery. Followed closely by how Dwayne would react to the exact same thing. As we all know, Dwayne Brown would rather die than be near the dead!
The problem with this scenario was, I had a lot of experience being the bereaved and none being the behind-the-scenes person in such a situation. So what do you do?
This is the neat thing about being a writer. You do not have to have a specific place to write about. Use what you already know. What your memories are about a place or places and embellish on them.
Scott’s cemetery is a very busy place in the book. A lot happens there and my poor characters are subjected to a lot of things there that I pray have never happened in any cemetery or funeral home.
In fact, as research for the book, I made sure that enough of the info was accurate so that the invented parts would seem real.
Believe me, no humans, dead or alive, were injured in the making of this book!