I am thrilled to have received my first review of Stone Cold Blooded from Mark Baker at Carstairs Considers.
I've been sharing inspiration from real-life that made it into scenes in my Rock Shop Mystery series. Today's photos are from the annual Denver Mineral, Fossil, Gemstone and Jewelry Show.
When I attended the show in 2014, I was stunned by the price of a slab of rock containing a giant fossilized turtle.
This year's trip, I noticed new pricey fossils, including a crinoid, a marine animal, valued at $150,000. Part of what amazes is that the fossil is that expensive, and the other part is that it is sitting on an aisle at the mineral show, and not under lock and key. Although it may not be necessary to lock up a three foot by five foot slab of rock!
While reality sparked ideas in my novels, I invented twists to suit the story. For example, at the Denver show there is no auditorium and no lectures take place. That's the beauty of writing fiction. I get to make things up.
“Allie took Marissa for a nap,” Cindy explained. “Since it’s slow, I thought I’d take the kids for a dip in the motel pool. If that’s all right with you, Cowgirl.”
Matthew and Ruth began packing their backpacks full of notebooks, brochures from other vendors, and treasures. Cindy lifted Hezekiah from his portable playpen and arranged him in the cloth sling across her chest.
“Shouldn’t you wait until Allie comes back?” Morgan asked. “I’m afraid I’ll get slammed if I’m here by myself.”
The dense population milling through the coliseum aisles periodically thinned, only to fill again in a predictable ebb and flow.
“There’ll be a long downtime this afternoon,” Cindy said. “People will be at the classes. It’s in the brochure.”
Morgan flipped through the show brochure and saw why. At set times there were talks in an auditorium. Right now, a paleobiologist was speaking. He claimed to have discovered a fantastically rare fossil worth six million dollars.
Dr. McTavish planned one more lecture tomorrow. The world would have to wait until Friday for the unveiling of his eighty percent intact Velociraptor skeleton.
There is an entire website dedicated to fossilized excrement - the Poozeum. One very expensive coprolite went to auction with an expectation of earning eight to ten thousand dollars.
Customers come to the Rock of Ages rock shop to purchase coprolite in book one. I'll admit it. Yes, I do own a coprolite. At a recent book signing, my granddaughter enjoyed waiting until someone touched the sample, then telling the victim, "You're touching dinosaur poop."
As you're reading that next great book, you may wonder where the author found his or her ideas. I'll bet they were sparked by a little reality combined with a lot of imagination!