The Inspiration for The Glass Cage

Marilyn recently asked me what inspired me to write The Glass Cage, book 2 of my McKenna Crime series. The Glass Cage is one of those synchronistic intersections of several facets of my life coming together with a dose of vivid imagination and a story that was just begging to be told.

I was a police dispatcher for a number of years and saw pretty much every kind of call that can from through from a simple guy on the side of the road with a flat tire to a bomb on an important politician’s route of travel. (Not a scare, but an actual bomb). I told calls for domestic violence, barking dogs, a murder/suicide and runaway juveniles just to name a few. As a dispatcher you are there as a first point of contact for someone having an out of the ordinary experience and the hope is you are going to make a difference in their lives by getting help to them. People don’t call 911 to say they’re having a good day.

A series of calls I took on one case was the starting point for the series and book one, The Spell. From there my heroine started looking at her life and just where she wanted to go with it and The Glass Cage is that bridge from Kelly’s old life to her new. At the start of the Glass Cage she is floundering about just what she wants to do. By the end of it she has a clear direction—at least I think she does. I wrote it during a period of my own transition from dispatch to returning to being a secretary—a job I always enjoyed. Experienced writers say to write what you know and in the case of my first two McKenna books that is quite true.

When I left dispatching I took a position that I felt sure would be low key, zero stress and ample time to focus on my writing on my days off. I quickly found myself in the middle of an unbelievable situation with myself as a witness to full of manipulation, alleged corporate theft and threats on a co-worker’s life. Not quite the peaceful, no stress, leave the job at work job I thought I took. When the business bought a new building, part of the construction was an 8 x 6 glass booth with one door in and out, one air vent similar to that as a movie theatre ticket window and one ventilation portal in the ceiling that was deemed essential to shut because it would affect ventilation in the rest of the building. Everyone knew the reception room had been built with the person who gave damaging evidence in mind. Lest anyone suggest she could have gotten another job, that would have been true in any other economic climate and if the owner of the business made every attempt to keep the person from leaving.  Once they left they could talk about all the goings on, but as long as they worked there, they couldn’t.

This was the jumping off point for The Glass Cage. When you write fiction you can have the ending that should have been rather than what is.


The Spell, book 1 of the McKenna Crime series: Stalked by an unknown admirer most of her life Kelly and her best friend move from their hometown to San Francisco. Certain she has left her stalker behind, Kelly soon discovers he is still there, watching and waiting.  When he sets a bomb on her car, nearly killing her, ATF Agent Ryan Michaels is called in—but how can Ryan explain the parallels between his life and Kelly’s?

The Glass Cage, book 2 of the McKenna Crime series: With her stalker behind bars Kelly is finally free to pursue the life she’s always wanted. The thing is, she isn’t sure what that is. Buying herself some time she takes a job at Hamilton & Myers as what she believes will be a secretary. Before long she is drawn into a world of corporate fraud and murder.


From earliest childhood Regan was an avid reader and upon discovering Alexander Dumas and Charles Dickens she was hooked on books that carried the reader away to a different time and place. Preferring the quiet of her room and a good book to spending time with people she traveled far beyond those four walls.

It was while working as a police dispatcher, first for the California Highway Patrol and then her local police department, she began to write fiction, primarily time travels and romantic suspense. In the spring of 2009 she returned to the day job she always liked best, working as a legal secretary. Although, curled up in her bunny slippers with her fur-faced children, Mel, Missy and Bogie, while writing is one of her most favorite things to do.

Thank you so much Regan, it was great to learn more about you and your books. 



Jean Henry Mead said…
You certainly have an interesting background to write from Regan. And I thought my job as a former police reporter prepared me to write mysteries. :)
M.M. Gornell said…
WOW, Megan, what an interesting story. The Glass Cage is on my list! Funny how the decisions you make in life take you to some very unexpected places! Those kind of life changing events, I think, make for good reading. Continued success,

4RV Publishing said…
Thanks for sharing your inspiration, Regan.

Jackie King said…
I've always thought that being a police dispatcher would be the hardest job in the world! Your experiences are fascinating. Such ripe material for all sorts of mysteries. Thanks for sharing.
Jackie king
Sharon Ervin said…
Wow! What a great blog, Marilyn, produced by the material Regan shared. Funny thing about writers, we use enough reality to make a book compelling without actually revealing secret lives. Of course, we do tattle. Great read.
Anonymous said…
Regan, your books sound fascinating. Putting them on my list to read!Thanks for sharing.
Pat Browning
Thanks everyone for stopping by to visit with Regan today.

Beth Anderson said…
Sounds like a couple of good books, Regan. I'll add them to my list too. I wish you continued success!

Cheers, Beth
Mary Martinez said…
I loved all the inspiration Regan. I'm sorry I'm late getting here to comment.

Thanks for sharing!
Anne K. Albert said…
Wishing you much success, Regan. I'm really enjoying getting to know you via the Mystery We Write Blog Tour!

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