Wednesday, January 6, 2010

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!

Kim Smith is the hostess for the popular radio show, Introducing WRITERS! radio show on Blog Talk Radio. She is also the author of the zany, Shannon Wallace cozy mystery series available now from Red Rose Publishing. You can visit Kim’s website at

You can follow Kim's virtual book tour during the month of January by checking in every weekday at


Kim Smith said...

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I am excited to visit with friends and fans here!

Marta Stephens said...

I LOVEd this piece. Only YOU would ask why they put curtains in a hearse? “They doll them all up and make them look pretty.” Oh, how I needed to read this today.
It really is amazing where stories come from and how they evolve, especially when orchestrated by a witty and talented writer like you!

All the best, Kim.

Cheryl said...

Hey ladies,

I hope the new year is starting off right for both of you.

I thought this was a very clever piece too, Marta. And now that I have a Kindle, I'll even get a chance to read this book.

Wishing you both the best,


Morgan Mandel said...

The flower shop cooler is a nice twist! A more fragrant spot then those cemeteries.

Morgan Mandel

Suko said...

Great guest post! I enjoyed reading this. :)

Kim Smith said...

Thank you to all who have stopped by to comment. Isn't it amazing what craziness our minds invent? I love it because it can go into a book. I have a new scenario that happened just today at my office that had me laughing so hard it HAS to go into a book. Love it when that happens!!

A. F. Stewart said...

It's always fascinating how story ideas germinate. Fabulous post.

J.W. Nicklaus said...

Great guest post, Kim! TDhe ideas that some people burn make the greatest bed of roses for the rest of us ;^)

Kim Smith said...

Heheh I like how you think JW!