When people learn I’m an author, they often ask where my ideas come from.
Truth be told, plotting isn’t my strong suit. I’m not exactly brimming with ideas. When I started plotting Horsing Around with Murder, all I knew for sure was that my elderly female sleuth would own a struggling dude ranch, someone would get killed, she would solve the murder, end of brilliant concepts.
I’ve come to accept the fact that I always need help to kick-start my thought processes. Luckily I have a brainstorming partner with an off-the-wall imagination. Formerly a vet’s assistant, she has vast experience in dealing with large animals, specifically horses.
After we kicked around several approaches to the plot, she recounted a story about one of the times she assisted with semen collection (to be used for artificial insemination). One thing led to another, and somehow the stallion managed to thrust his pride-and-joy up her sleeve, where the goodies remained stuck.
After I stopped laughing, I pounced on the idea of an Equine Breeding Symposium as a promotional event to attract guests to the dude ranch, and built the plot around the concept … that and a murder. Naturally, my heroine is roped into assisting at a hands-on semen collection demo. Her job is simple: slide the appropriate appendage into a waiting receptacle. It may come as no surprise that she underestimates a stallion’s thrusting power. In a rogue move, the horse’s equipment ends up inside her sleeve.