What inspired me to write Safe Harbor?
Safe Harbor will come out soon as a paperback and an ebook. It’s been a long birthing process, and here’s how it came about.
As a journalist, I've earned my living by writing, with some time out for editing and teaching. But after years of making sure I had the facts right, I wanted to let my imagination run wild. I wanted to tell stories of my own.
I had two short stories published, then started a novel. A character was murdered in the second chapter, and my writers' group pointed out that I was writing crime fiction. I was? Yes, I realized I was writing crime fiction, and that’s what I wanted to write.
I needed a central character that could sustain a mystery series. Plot is the backbone of crime fiction, but I believe it really comes down to character. Characters do things for reasons and these reasons form the plot. I wanted my central character to be a woman, a mature woman. I like to read about characters close to my own age, in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and I’m sure other baby boomers do too. And she needed a challenging profession.
I'd recently given up my full-time job at a newspaper and was doing freelance work. Much of it came from trade publications for the financial services industry. My articles involved interviewing financial planners and investment managers. I was impressed by many of them. They were helping clients get their financial houses in order. A light went on in my head. I'd found my central character: Pat Tierney, financial planner, champion of small investors and little guys in general.
Safe Harbor introduces Pat. She’s 47 and single again after her husband’s death four years before. There’s an eligible man on the scene, but she’s not sure she wants to get involved. Or how to get involved. The novel explores some of my favorite themes: romance over age 40, the plight of immigrants and white-collar crime. In 2010, Safe Harbor was a finalist for the Debut Dagger, Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association’s contest for the best unpublished English-language crime novel.
And very soon, Safe Harbor will be available to readers, courtesy of Imajin Books. Just Imajin!
Rosemary McCracken is a Canadian journalist and fiction writer. She hails from Montreal, and now divides her time between Toronto and a stone cottage in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands. Follow Rosemary on Facebook and Twitter, and check out her website and blog.