Monday, August 23, 2021

Getting Personal to Enhance Our Fiction: Guest Post by Rosemary Mild


Getting Personal to Enhance Our Fiction

My husband, Larry, and I coauthor mystery and suspense fiction. We use both first-hand research and personal experiences to enhance our novels and stories. (Visit us at 

Our first book as full-time Hawaii residents was Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawaii (2019). It features Sam Nahoe, a disabled ex-cop-turned-cabbie, and his golden retriever (with a touch of Doberman). They take on Honolulu bank robbers, kidnappers, and vengeful wives. Even killers, compelling Sam to get his P.I. license. In “The Snake Lady,” Sam’s Auntie Momi visits her fortune teller, but finds her dead—murdered—and Heki, her gentle pet python, missing. 

But wait! Snakes are illegal in the Aloha State. Detective Danny groans, “Not another reptile! No matter how hard we try, the black market thrives.” Larry and I researched how Hawaii deals with these illegal critters. The penalty is up to three years in prison and a $200,000 fine. But the Department of Agriculture has an amnesty plan: Turn it in, no questions asked, no penalties. 

Our research was satisfying, but our plot was at a standstill. It was missing an irrefutable piece of evidence that would nail the killer. A happy personal coincidence solved our problem—and the case. Our cousin, a master jewelry designer in Atlanta, had just posted her newest creation on Facebook: an exotic snake ring! With her delighted permission, we incorporated the ring into our plot. 

“As Valerie angrily crossed her arms over her chest, Sam’s gaze landed on her left hand. Exposed on her third finger was the fortune teller’s ring! Valerie followed Sam’s gaze. ‘So I stole the ring. So what? She had no more use for it. But that doesn’t mean I killed her.’ Silence reigned as four pairs of accusing eyes bore into her.” 

We’ve also added a special personal touch to Copper and Goldie: a picture at the beginning of each story. For “The Snake Lady” it’s a picture of our cousin’s ring, which we show at the top in this post.


"Getting Personal" appears in Rosemary Mild's new book of personal essays, In My Next Life I'll Get It Right—in the chapter "On Writing Together." She and her husband, Larry, stalk villains and solve crimes in their fiction: the Paco & Molly Mysteries; the Dan & Rivka Sherman Mysteries; two suspense novels and a book of stories set in Hawaii; and a sci-fi romance.

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