What if a prison inmate felt wrongly accused? When his patience has tanked and he's out of options, what length would he go to make things right?
And he only has 48 minutes.
From those questions Hammond Stone was born, and drove my idea for Center Lane, one of the eleven stories in the Tick Tock, A Stitch in Crime anthology.
Many times, this is how my stories emerge. Questions become like threads. If a question lingers long enough, I feel the need to unravel it, knowing a plot or character is knitted in there somewhere. I find that ideas come from all around us. Sometimes, it's listening to the news and asking the what if questions. Or imagining different scenarios. Recently, it was a conversation in a dream. A woman whispered to another person that she had run away from something horrible. I didn't remember the details, but I did remember the pure desperation in her voice. And that thread sparked the latest novel I'm working on.
In Hammond Stone's case, the moment he told me he felt trapped and needed to right the wrong that was done to him, I was in his corner and wanted to tell his story.
Here's the opening to Center Lane: