Virginia Smith answers six questions about her book, Prime Suspect (Love Inspired): Darcie needs help proving her innocence after a body is found and Caleb is just the guy for the job.
Q: What inspired the plot in your latest Romance, Prime Suspect?
One technique writers use to come up with ideas is to think about a
character's greatest strengths, and then put them in a situation where that
strength is challenged. The main character in Prime Suspect, Caleb, appeared
in two previous books, Dangerous Impostor and Bullseye. Caleb is known for
being a tough guy with a soft heart and a strong faith. So I had to come up
with a story that challenged his faith. To do that, I asked myself, "What is
the biggest challenge to my faith?"
Q: What do you think readers will find interesting about this story?
I hope readers will enjoy the evolving relationship between Caleb and
Darcie, and that they'll be drawn into the mystery that brings those two
together. I did a lot of research on emeralds and on 'designer' dogs, and
both of those elements were fascinating to me.
Q: Who is your favorite character in this book?
You want me to choose just one? I guess it would have to be Caleb. He has
such a heart for God, and he wants so desperately to help Darcie even though
she unearths a ton of uncomfortable feelings from his past disastrous
relationship. I absolutely loved pairing this muscular, tattoo-covered man
with a tiny, fluffy white dog.
Q: How does your faith influence your writing?
Since my faith is an integral part of who I am, it plays a part in every
book I write. Writing a story is an act of faith in itself, because I am
convinced that I don't have a single interesting idea in my head on my own.
So I think every idea I have comes from God. And so many times the stories I
write deal with issues I'm experiencing personally. The questions Caleb asks
concerning whether he is hearing God's voice or his own come straight from
my own experience.
Q: Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
Caleb was such a lovable character in the first two books in the Falsely
Accused series I knew his story would have to be something special. I've
received so many emails and letters from readers telling me they were eager
for Caleb's story that I had a hard time coming up with something good
enough for him. But I couldn't disappoint all those people who wanted to see
if he found his own happy ending, could I? In the end, Caleb and Darcie
became so vivid and realistic in my mind that their story pretty much
unfolded on its own.
Q: Where do you get your best ideas?
Different places, really. Some come from newspaper headlines. Some come from
issues I'm struggling with personally at the time. Some from people I've
met, or would like to meet. Or even offhand comments by friends. Often my
stories are a combination of all of the above. In the case of Prime Suspect,
the story developed from Caleb's character combined with my personal
questions about hearing God's voice, and a comment by a friend about manmade emeralds. A writer's brain is like a blender - throw all those things into
the mix and see what pours out!