Monday, January 18, 2016

The Idea Factory

By Vicki Delany

Authors are always being asked: Where do you get your ideas?

It’s a difficult question to answer, because we do quite often get them out of thin air. What’ an idea? A scrap of a thought.  An impression flickering at the ends of consciousness.  An offhand comment.

Ideas are everywhere, you have to be ready to accept them and then, most importantly to follow them where they might lead.  

Because an idea is just that. An idea. But a book is a book.  And there’s approximately 80 – 100,000 words between then.

But sometimes, an idea isn’t a fleeting impression or a thought pulled out of the air, but taken from something real and concrete.

Case in point: I was listening to a piece on the CBC radio a couple of years ago about an organization that worked on behalf of those wrongly convicted of murder. In Canada, we all know many of their names: Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, Steven Truscott. 

They had a long interview with a man who spent years in prison for the murder of his wife before it was determined that her death had been an accident.  He now works with AIDWYC, helping others in his position. (

It was a fascinating interview and I was struck with how this poor man’s life had been ruined, by what basically turned out to be incompetence on the part of the authorities.  And, how hard the people who believed in his innocence worked to see him exonerated.

And presto! An idea plus a lot of hard work became a book.

Unreasonable Doubt will be released on February 2rd. This is the eighth in the Constable Molly Smith Series.

Here’s a taste: 

Twenty-five years ago, Walter Desmond was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of young Sophia D’Angelo in Trafalgar, British Columbia. For twenty-five years, Walt steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Now he’s out of prison, exonerated by new evidence that shows corruption at worst or sheer incompetence at best, on the part of the Trafalgar City Police. And he’s back in Trafalgar.

Tensions are running high in the small mountain town. Tension between those who believe an innocent man was convicted and those who maintain the police got the right man. Surrounded by supporters, Sophia’s bitter family is determined to see Walter back in prison. Or dead.

It’s mid-summer in Trafalgar and women’s dragon boat teams are in town. At his B&B Walt Desmond meets lonely widow Carolanne Fraser, and Walt decides he might have reason to stay.

The police are instructed to do nothing to interfere with Desmond, but when Constable Molly Smith comes across two of her colleagues ordering the man out of town “or else” she’s forced to decide where her loyalties lie.

Meanwhile, a file that closed twenty-five years ago is on Sergeant John Winters’ desk. The records are dust-covered and moldy, the investigating detective long dead, the arresting officer retired and not talking, but Smith and Winters dig into the case. 

Because, if Walt Desmond didn’t kill Sophia Angelo, then someone else did.


Mary Jane Hopper said...

What an interesting story, I can see how this could evolve into an excellent book. Please let us know when your book is available, I will be waiting to read it!

Vicki Delany said...

Thanks Jane. It will be out on Feb 2nd and is now available for pre-order.