Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Guest J.A. Hennrikus

I'm delighted to welcome my friend J.A. Hennrikus to Type M. 

Julie writes the Theater Cop series for Midnight Ink. A Christmas Peril came out in September. As Julianne Holmes she writes the Clock Shop series. Julie can be found as on Twitter as @JHAuthors, and on Instagram as @jahenn. Julie also blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors <> and Killer Characters<>.

In her post, Julie shares with us the inspiration for her holiday novel. 

The Spark

“How do you get your ideas?” is a favorite question at reader events. For my new Theater Cop series, with A Christmas Peril as the debut, the answer is complicatedly simple. 

The premise of the series, which is a soft-boiled traditional, is that Edwina “Sully” Sullivan was a cop for a long time, happily married to a lawyer, living in Boston. Five years ago, Sully was forced to retire from her job, found out her husband was having an affair, and had to move home to take care of her dying father. Home is Trevorton, MA, a (fictional) town on the north shore of Massachusetts. Sully decided if she couldn’t do her job in law enforcement, she was going to walk away. And so, she became the general manager of a small theater company. At the beginning of A Christmas Peril, Sully is trying to keep their production of A Christmas Carol on track, while at the same time dusting off her investigative skills to help exonerate her friend Eric, who is accused of killing his father. 

So how did I come up with all of that? 
I had a friend who had to retire as a state cop. I asked her if she was going to become a PI, and she told me if she couldn’t wear the badge, she wasn’t going to do the job. I’ve never forgotten that. 

I work in theater, so talking about that world is easy for me. I also love it, and love the folks I am blessed to work with every day.  And choosing to focus on a production of A Christmas Carol? Well, I’d suggest you do a search on theater companies in your area around the holidays. Here in Boston there are at least a half dozen excellent productions going on right now. But more than that? I love the story of A Christmas Carol. I read it every year, have watched dozens of movie and TV versions, and gone to many theatrical productions. The story resonates with me, more and more as I grow older. 

This entire series was born from a conversation with a friend who was heartbroken at having to retire. One idea that provided the gravitational pull for an entire series. 


Marianne Wheelaghan said...

Isn't it incredible how complex, clever stories can develop from the smallest spark of an idea – as long as we are open to developing them. When I think of ideas and where they come from I often think of the Ray Bradbury quote: "Ideas lie everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of wayfaring strangers with eye and tongue for beauty." :)

Sybil Johnson said...

What an interesting post. Your books sound great. I, too, love A Christmas Carol. I listen to the Patrick Stewart reading of it every year. And my favorite Christmas movie is the Muppet's version.

J.A. Hennrikus said...

I love that quote. Here's hoping for many falling apples next year!

J.A. Hennrikus said...

Isn't the Patrick Stewart reading wonderful? Muppets version is one of my favorites too.