With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn’t need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they’ve got one anyway.
Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.
Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.
One of whom could be his own daughter.
Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.
J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children.
After working in pharmaceutical research, then in education as a schoolteacher, she decided to put the following to good use: one, her 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu; and two, her overwhelming need to write dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant.
Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.
Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.
Rousing Your Muse: 5 Great Sources of Inspiration
1. The news & history
Current affairs can be a great source of story ideas and inspiration. Could a terrorist cell be planning on striking during the Olympics? How could the current economic crisis affect your protagonist? Could rebels be plotting to assassinate the President of X country?
Similarly, one can find inspiration in history: what are the experiences of a Jewish child growing up in World War Two Germany? What happens to your heroine in feudal Japan if her marriage were arranged for her?
2. Myths & legends
Many books and films have capitalised on inspirations from world mythology, e.g. Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief is based on Greek mythology, and the current crop of vampire
and werewolf stories are reinventions of urban myths and folklore. There are hundreds of different legends to choose from, so don’t just go for the commonly known ones: perhaps a tale from Native American, Australian Aborigine, Chinese or Japanese folklore might inspire your next big idea!
3. People & places
Watching and eavesdropping can be a great way to get ideas. Where is that old man on the bus going? What’s in the tatty old bag of his? Who is the young mother shouting at down the phone? Similarly, interesting places and buildings can be very atmospheric and inspiring: what happened in this crumbling old mansion a hundred years ago? What would you find hidden in the attic?
4. Personal experiences
Snippets of real-life experiences can help make a story all the more realistic. If you have lived it, you could write the emotions more effectively. Be it love, loss, fear, an adventure, or a funny anecdote, jot down those little events and your feelings when it happened. Who knows? It could end up being used in your next book.
What if a man discovers his fiancée was cheating on her with the best man? What if a contract killer’s assigned target was his own father? On a larger scale, what if Germany won World War Two? What if Kennedy was never assassinated? What if Columbus took a wrong turn? What-if situations generate a whole world of possibilities, creating alternate realities populated by your own imagination.
Tell me: what inspires YOU?
Comment below with your inspiration and enter to win an Ecopy of Oracle!
OUR REVIEW OF ORACLE BY J.C. MARTIN
I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery story and how well woven the pieces were into the whole. The Greek mythological theme was carried through beautifully, and I enjoyed how it was first introduced by the bedtime stories Kurt's nearly blind daughter was practicing reading to him. As the killer's motives and m.o. became clearer, so did the various relationships in Kurt's life. I also enjoyed the way Kurt, his brother, and the killer were all portrayed as having come from less than optimal homes, yet the different choices each man made created such different paths. I definitely recommend this read for all the mystery/suspense