Ritter Ames — USA TODAY Bestselling Mystery Author of the Bodies of Art Mysteries series and the Organized Mysteries series

Posts Tagged ‘Spain

One of the best things about being a mystery author is brainstorming new stories and settings. I love that I can “virtually” hang around London most days as I write, and have my characters hop a fictional plane at any moment to go to France, Italy, Spain–or wherever. My friend Eleanor was “literally” hanging out in England last week and sharing pictures of her trip on her FB page, and giving me some fun new things to think about as I work up future Bodies of Art books.

That’s the beauty of writing about characters who use their passports on an almost daily basis, all the time I spend reading my friends’ FB pages that show their travel shots counts as research, too. But that’s not all.

If you like your mysteries with an international flair, consider joining me and four other fun mystery authors (including the afore mentioned Eleanor) at a new Facebook group we’re starting called Passport Ready Writers. The page doesn’t officially open until June 1st, but here’s the link if you want to check it out, and click the JOIN button to be ready on day 1:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/PassportReadyWritersReaders/

What’s the connection? All of us write fiction that globe trots, and we want to connect with readers who want to know behind the scenes info and why we write what we do. The five of us don’t just put our characters in danger, we make sure they’re in great settings while they run for their lives or catch a murderer. So, do you like mysteries with English tea and scones, overlooking the pyramids, or in a gondola on an Italian canal? Or fast-paced plots with more twists than a Grand Prix at Monte Carlo? How about likeable characters and lively conversation? If so, grab your virtual passport and join us as we cross borders and solve murders. After all, crime doesn’t require a visa.

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To keep up with all my ideas, I have my “working notebooks” and keep one on each new book, and file all series notebooks together in my office. I scribble lines I want my characters to use, ideas on where they should go and what they should wear, I take notes on news programs that cover topics related to the places and events my character(s) will see. It’s all grist for the mill, you understand. Yes, I could do all of this in a digital file and have it wherever I go, but there’s just something about brainstorming with a pen and paper that a notebook computer simply can’t provide.

But one things I do always take advantage of online is to collect pictures on my Pinterest boards at https://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ For some reason WordPress doesn’t want to imbed this address correctly today as a link, so I figured the whole thing might be best in case anyone wants to take a look. I’m up to 27 boards now–a lot of people have many more, but so far this group serves my immediate needs. On my boards, I have Organized tips I’ve collected for my Organized Mysteries, travel tips for my characters to use in both my series, and–what I’ve been mooning over lately–great places around this glorious globe that I want to use in future Bodies of Art Mysteries.

BarcelonaRight now, I’m trying to decide if I’m going to keep all of book #3 in the Bodies of Art Mysteries Series, working title (definitely subject to change) Abstract Aliases, completely in England, or if I’m going to move onto the European Continent. I’m thinking a side trip to Barcelona, Spain or Basel, Switzerland is also an option. And yes, it’s just a coincidence that those cities and countries share the same first letters in their names–but you can see how my mind probably works. The shot peeking through the walls at the left are the view from Sagrada Familia in Barcelona–can’t you just see Laurel making plans while she checks out that view?

The shot atBasel Switzerland at night the right, on the other hand, is Basel, Switzerland at night. I have no difficulty imagining Laurel and Jack in the moonlight along that river view–whether they’re strolling in elegant evening clothes or escaping potential capture while dress in burglar black.

There’s just something about looking at vibrant pictures that makes me not only want to travel, but to write about the possibilities of what my characters might see and do when they arrive at those same places.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]I think it’s easy to see why my Pinterest Boards are not only one of my best ways to stay organized, but to keep motivated in my writing, too. I tagged my Pinterest Board on Italy so many times when writing Marked Masters, that I think I left that tab open on my laptop more than I did my email or Facebook! But that was the best way to keep all the elements of Florence in mind as I wrote that portion of the novel.

I’ll be leaving on a jet plane at the end of this week, but only to head for the East Coast. No European travel for me. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be taking notes the whole time I’m gone. Need to slip another notebook into my luggage 🙂

Luckily, I have a bit more time before I need to make a final decision on all the places Laurel and Jack will be going in their next book!


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