Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Where Our Ideas Come From

In my last blog, I talked about animals, specifically mentioning my own, Star my dog and Eddie my cat. Unfortunately Eddie passed away a few days after I wrote that blog. I just wanted to say that I’m going to miss him a lot. He was a good boy. As I mentioned in that blog, he found his way into my writing, as has Star, so he’s been immortalized for readers in my Jennifer Skully release, It Must Be Magic.

That brings me to what I want to talk about today, where writers get their ideas. I’m sure everyone does it differently. And there are as many ideas as there are people on the planet. I can overhear something at the grocery store or the doctor’s office. I can see a news story on the TV. Or something can happen in my neighborhood. Recently, my neighbor was arrested for murder. As you may guess, the whole thing has traumatized the neighborhood. You see them on the news, the people living next door to a killer saying, “But he was such a nice guy.” And I swear, that’s what I said, too. He WAS a nice guy. He always had a nice word for me when I walked my dog by his house, always waved and smiled and joked. Now he’s been accused of murdering a pregnant woman. Oh, and he’s in jail for raping his girlfriend. Did I tell you he’s married, too, with three little kids? The murder occurred a year and a half ago. Right after, he was arrested for rape, a crime which came to light during the investigation into the murder. Of course, in the neighborhood we were all waiting for him to be charged with the murders as well (it’s a double homicide because the victim was six months pregnant). He was having multiple affairs, he was an alcoholic. I had no idea, but much of this came out at the rape trial, stuff he admitted to. The most damning thing was that he asked his wife to give him an alibi for the night of the murder.

As a neighbor, I was as traumatized as the rest of my neighborhood. As a writer, I find it all fascinating, not just that he could be hiding all these secrets, but my own emotions about it, and those of my neighbors. How it became personal for us. We’d whisper about it while walking our dogs or shopping at the grocery store where he and the murdered woman worked. I’m not sure how it will fit into my writing, because I’ve already done a book called “Sex and the Serial Killer” which was about an alleged serial killer living in the neighborhood. Oddly enough, when the book was released and my book signing announcement appeared in the local paper, my murderous neighbor came over to congratulate me. Even then, the seeds of the murder were already being sown. It just goes to show you, everyone has secrets. And that’s what writers thrive on, writing about other people’s secrets, and sometimes even their own.

Next time, I’ll tell you about a secret that became the basis for Trinity Green’s story in Show and Tell.

Jasmine Haynes, Show and Tell, Coming July 2008.
Don’t miss your chance to win an ARC of Show and Tell and other great prizes.
Details about the contest at


Jessica said...

Wow, that's crazy. It's giving me ideas, lol.

Michelle Monkou said...

I had a registered sex offender who planted pipe bombs when his house was put on the market (after his mother died).

The crazy thing (beyond that mess) was that another neighbor was defending him - he was sympathetic because of his stress and his sisters were kicking him out of the house. And they never had any problems with him.

I had two infants when I moved in and no one disclosed it nor did I think to ask.

BTW, as far as I know, he was never caught.


Jane said...

Sorry about Eddie, Jasmine.

That story about your neighbor is unbelievable. It's true that you never know how a person really is or what they're capable of. Most pregnant women are killed by either their spouse of boyfriend. It's a scary statistic.

Pat Cochran said...

Don't know who said it, but there's
a saying about never knowing what is
hiding behind closed doors! And the
bad guy is almost always the "nice
guy" of the neighborhood!!! I'll
never see that guy/gal in the same way again (even if they are OK!)

Pat Cochran

Jasmine Haynes said...

Thanks for your condolences on Eddie, Jane.

I really don't think you can ever know what lurks behind those closed doors. I mean, don't we all have secrets, too? Okay, not murderous secrets, but secrets nonetheless. And that's what writing is all about, I think. Exploring those secrets (other people's, of course!!!).

Show and Tell, July 2008

Maureen said...

I am so sorry that you lost Eddie.

What a crazy story. That is one of those stranger than fiction stories.

Michele L. said... sorry to hear about Eddie. I saw in my newspaper a website that you can go on and it lists all the sex offenders in your area. I went on it and I was amazed! Some are just a couple miles away from me!

You wonder who the law protects anymore, when they let these criminals live right next door to innocent women and children. It makes so angry!

Melis L.

Jasmine Haynes said...

Thanks, everyone, for your sympathy about Eddie.

And I do hope you'll check out the June contest on my site.

Show and Tell, July 2008