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DS Jenna Morgan Series – Inspiration, Writing & Research

What comes first when I create a story? – Part 3


What She Saw was for me a different approach initially. For some unknown reason, the unrest in the world must have affected me. Call it luck, call it intuition, but unusually for this story I plunged heart and soul into the research and background of a subject matter which fascinated me, but I never had enough information on to write in great depths. This time the story needed my research to centre around fires, the fire service, arson and the legal side of these together with a depth of knowledge regarding firearms that I’d never previously indulged in.

To my utter good luck, I happened upon a fire officer, Charlie Cartwright, through mutual connections and we met up, messaged, talked on the phone and I prised each and every morbid detail from him regarding fires, heat, the effect on bodies at different stages

I also met up with Peter Wright, a retired police officer with a wealth of knowledge about all things firearms and special operations. Amazing and inciteful, his imagination made mine run riot. I think he needs to write his own stories.

At the time of lockdown I had conducted all the research I needed to throw myself wholeheartedly into What She Saw.

But Covid-19 came along and so did my brother’s cancer and my aunty’s stroke all during a time when they couldn’t get treated.

So all the research in the world was poured into this book for three months until the day I woke up to the discovery that as it stood, this was not my story. It was dry. It was research, it was police procedure and backstory.

With a deadline looming, and I do mean beating at my door, Jenna Morgan strode back into my head with her faithful and fascinating team players, Mason and Ryan, and together we stripped back 30,000 words of police procedure and let the story make a run for it.

The pure unadulterated rush of freedom poured into What She Saw making it come alive and I couldn’t happier with how it’s turned out.

Research is essential, but the story is the reason people pick up the book.

Book 4 is well under way and the characters are talking…


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