Having just finished the first draft of Griefed, the third Lexy Cooper novel, I am avoiding the necessary revisions and subsequent hand-off to my editor by plotting a spin-off. Main character Detective Mike Malick will get his own story: Summer Wind. Without Lexy POV scenes to bear half of the narrative burden I must delve deeper into Mike’s interior life and his background. I know he served in the Army during Desert Shield/Storm, then became an MP and subsequently a police officer. But where is he originally from? I hadn’t given it any real thought before. So here’s a trick I stumbled on that I’ll be using in the future.
I looked up his surname, Malick, on Ancestry.com and boom! Right there is where there are/were more Malicks than anywhere else in the country. The fact that it’s from 1920 and not, say 1970 when Malick would have been growing up? Don’t care, it’s history. Now I have a geographical spawn point that I didn’t pull completely out of my ass.