I’m often asked what inspires my writing. I was always told to ‘write about what you know’, and for me it’s things that I can touch, feel, smell and experience.
Hi – My name is Danyelle (aka D.M. Slate) and my first horror novella, Day 94, was released in December 2009 by Eternal Press. Today I’d like to talk about the random things that inspire my writing. For Day 94 the inspiration came from the skylight in my kitchen. One day as I was putting dishes away, I stared up through the skylight admiring the beauty and warmth of the bright Colorado sunlight shining through. Daydreaming, I tried to consider a scenario where the skylight would be the only link to the outside world. This is how the disease epidemic and underlying theme of Day 94 was created.
For my next mystery/thriller, Isolated, which will be released soon by Moongypsy Press, the inspiration came from an experience in Mexico. My husband and I decided to get married on the beach in Mexico. We booked the trip and didn’t tell anyone our intent of getting married until a few days before we left. The ceremony was beautiful. The only people present were myself and my husband, the minister and our two paid Mexican witnesses. The day after getting married we were off on an ATV tour and snorkel, promoted by the hotel. Upon arrival we realized we were the only two people going on the tour, and I got a sinking feeling in my gut. But the tour was booked through our hotel – so it had to be reputable, right?
Our two tour guides seemed nice enough and we eagerly followed them into the dense Mexican jungle. As we raced along the worn path I noticed large black storage containers within the trees, whose tops were camouflaged with thick palm fronds. Minutes later we found ourselves in the center of some sort of encampment; the men in the camp were armed with machetes and automatic weapons strapped over their shoulders. My heart raced as I realized how we must appear. Young naïve Americans, age 21 and 22, who didn’t speak a word of Spanish – easy targets. Two of the men from the camp jumped on the 4-wheelers and accompanied us the beach where our snorkel began.
At this point they tried to convince me to leave my newly acquired wedding ring with the men from the camp; I adamantly refused. Dressed in only a swimming suit and shorts I felt very vulnerable as the men looked me up and down. Knowing my husband’s tendency to get into fisticuffs (when we were young - lol), I was terrified that a fight might break out right there. Luckily for us, the snorkel and return trip through the camp went off without a hitch. But that deep sinking feeling that created a knot in my stomach stayed with me for a long time. So many things could have gone wrong….
My newlywed characters, Anthony and Jazmine, aren’t so lucky on their Mexican ATV tour.
As Anthony and Jazmine embark on their honeymoon to southern Mexico, they have no idea the dark trail that’ll unfold before them. The couple signs up for an ATV tour and snorkel trip offered by their resort. Two days later Anthony stumbles out of the Mexican jungle bloodied, half dead and suffering from amnesia; he’s the prime suspect in Jazmine’s disappearance. Through his multiple interrogations, Anthony struggles to regain his memory in order clear his name and discover the whereabouts of his missing wife.
The international search for Jazmine reveals nothing and the F.B.I. are convinced that Anthony is involved, somehow. As bits and pieces of his memory return, he leads F.B.I. Special Agent Monroe on a trail of clues that implicate the couple’s ATV tour guides. Further investigation reveals that Jazmine has been sold to a drug-lord in Panama, and nothing will stop Anthony from trying to rescue her. As he enters the foreign country, the distraught husband only causes greater chaos.
With the F.B.I. in fast pursuit to Panama, the race against the clock begins. When the authorities close in on the suspect’s house hoping to recover Jazmine, a grueling discovery is made; Anthony is already at the house. As the case comes to a close, Anthony is shocked to discover that this wasn’t a random crime.