Where SWEET SALT AIR came from

Most of my books are inspired by things I read about in the newspaper. The inspiration for Sweet Salt Air was much more personal.  I have three sons, all of whom have recently had children, and when each of those babies was born, its umbilical cord blood was harvested, frozen, and stored. The premise is that cutting edge medicine is starting to use the stem cells harvested from such blood, and the closer those stem cells match to the DNA of the recipient, the better.

Naming the characters in my next book


You’ve heard of Dennis Lehane, right?  Since he’s a home town boy, my local press is all over him.  So I wasn’t surprised to hear tv reports that his dog, Tessa (yup, that’s her pictured above), had disappeared on Christmas Eve and that he was offering to name a character in his next book after whoever gave him information leading to its return.

This isn’t a new concept.  I’ve often auctioned off naming rights to the highest bidder at charity auctions.  But that isn’t how I choose most of my names.

How to research a novel

In theory, since a novel is make-believe, the idea of doing research is oxymoronic.  Isn’t it?

No.  I don’t think so either.  I’ve always done research.  Part of the appeal of my books is that readers buy into the story, so it has to be real.

It used to be that real came from the library.  I loved working there.  It got me out of the house, for one thing.  For another, I find the smell of old books both comfort and inspiration.  There’s nothing like endless rows of library stacks to make a girl feel like she’s joining an honorable profession.