Guest blog: Writers are often advised to write about what they know. This can present problems. Visit me at Motive Means Opportunity, where I talk about When What You Know Is Boring.
Denver Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry Show 2016
Last week, I promised to introduce the folks who talked to me at a previous mineral show, when I was still coming up with ideas for book three in my Rock Shop Mystery series. Today, I introduce Jim and Cindy Ackerman of Oreodont Fossils.
Jim Ackerman is a geologist and paleontologist located in South Dakota. The newspaper and plaster wrapped objects on his table caught my eye. When I asked, Jim explained they were DIY fossils - Do It Yourself. Aspiring paleontologists could practice their skills by carefully carving away the dirt from an actual fossil.
As the Oreodont Fossils logo says, Jim and Cindy are "bringing the past into the present." They are eager to share their knowledge. When Jim told me about the world of paleontology, several ideas for a novel buzzed around my head.
You never know what's going to spark fictional inspiration. In Stone Cold Blooded, I include a plot thread based on a disagreement between two fossil collectors decades prior to the story. Morgan Iverson's neighbor Eustace dies under unusual circumstances. One of her running club friends once attempted to interview Morgan's neighbor for a film about local history.
“Was my uncle in your film?” Morgan asked.
“No,” Chuck said. “The filming began after he passed away, and by then Eustace had gone around the bend. He ran the director off his place with a shotgun. Although Caleb and Eustace didn’t make it into the film, I heard second hand the story about them digging up dinosaur bones to sell to museums and collectors, until they had a disagreement.”
“I don’t remember Uncle Caleb talking about his neighbor,” Morgan said. “I was in my twenties when he passed away, but I would have remembered him mentioning a feud.”
“And now Eustace is gone, too.” Vonne leaned her elbows on the heavy wooden table. “So what happened up there Monday?”
If I got any details about fossil collectors right, I credit Jim Ackerman for giving me a peek into that world.
Book Three in my Rock Shop Mystery series will be released October 10. Join Morgan as she attends a mineral show that just might resemble the Denver Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry.
Subscribe to this blog: