Our Search for Plots and Settings by Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton

The High Country Mystery Series: Our Search for Plots and Settings

Inspiration can strike unexpectedly, sparked by some account in a museum or news article or by stories related to us by local people.  As authors of the High Country Mystery Series, we are always on the lookout for new plots and settings for our books set in the fictional town of Durmont, Wyoming.  This series features Jeff McQuede, a modern-day sheriff with old time values derived from his Old West namesake.
We have explored Wyoming in depth in our search for plot ideas. We have found it strange how some perfectly good events or plot ideas never develop while others almost instantly take hold.

The second book in the series, Whispers of the Stones, was inspired by tales and newspaper clippings about a tiny mummy discovered in the 1930s by miners working in the Shirley Basin.  The little man, sitting cross-legged in a cave, became an object of curiosity and scientific speculation until his disappearance in the 1950s.  Later on we found that a wealthy collector had offered a large huge for any information about the mummy’s whereabouts.  After reading these accounts, questions filled our minds.  What happened to the mummy?  Does he still exist?   Would his appearance prove or disprove once and for all the Native American tales of the “Little People?”  What would happen should it resurface—would a scientist or private collector kill to own such a rare piece of history? 

An Icy Death was inspired by nature.  In Wyoming the snow can become a formidable enemy.  Every year, many reports our made of people stranded on back roads or hunters of who have died from hypothermia.  In this novel we used this idea and made the weather a possible cover-up for murder.

Our latest Jeff McQuede mystery, Crying Woman Bridge, began with a legend.  The Southwestern tale of La Llorona has always intrigued us, the numerous accounts about a woman who sacrifices her child or children by drowning them.  She commits this horrible act for the sake of her lover and ends up crazed with regret.  Throughout the United States this story surfaces in many forms, all concerning bridges haunted either by weeping women or crying babies.  We used a fictional variation on this legend and blended it with a modern tale.
We are planning another trip to Wyoming this summer…and hope to come across material for another Jeff McQuede mystery.
Blog link mummy
Blog link bridge
                                           AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton, sisters and co-authors, are drawn to out-of-the-way places, old mining towns, and vast rangelands where the legends and history of the past live on.  Inspired by the rugged mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, they find the lonely, high country region a perfect setting for their novels.

They are authors of the High Country Mystery Series:  Murder in Black and White, Whispers of the Stones, Stealer of Horses, The Executioner’s Hood, An Icy Death, and also of A Deal on a Handshake, an anthology that also features Wyoming sheriff, Jeff McQuede.
They have written fifty novels, including the eight-book Ardis Cole Mystery Series and the Luck of the Draw Western Series: The Devil’s Game, The Fifth Ace, and The Wild Card.  Listed among their work are the The Vanished Lady, Death Comes in Pairs, and The Lost City of the Condor,

Both sisters live in Kansas, Loretta in Junction City, Vickie in Hutchinson.

They invite you to visit their blogs:   
Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson’s Writing Tips and Fiction: http://vbritton.blogspot.com/
The High Country Mystery Series Blog:   http://mcquede.blogspot.com/


GBPool said…
What an intriguing set of plot ideas and all from things that really happened or at least a writer's version of what happened. They say truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes it takes fiction to make the facts seem real. All the best, ladies.
Loved this post, so many interesting ideas. Good luck with the book.

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