Of course, I can't speak for others, but here are a few oddities about myself:
- On 9-11, I was on my way home for lunch to watch the news, listening to the radio, and I found myself critiquing the radio announcer's report. (It's so difficult to turn off the editor inside a writer.)
- During a record setting blizzard, police in my hometown were searching for a murder weapon. The murder happened a few blocks from my home, and I couldn't help but wonder which of our six-foot piles of snow would melt and reveal the murder weapon.
- I can take a perfectly normal thunderstorm and turn it into a crime scene.
- As I watched the news during Hurricane Katrina, I realized waiting for the levy's to break was like plotting a novel, building that anticipation as we waited and waited, making things get worse and worse, and then disaster and crisis and resolution...
- When involved in an automobile accident, I immediately began trying to figure out how to work it into a book.
- On my way home from work, I see police, with guns drawn, creeping around a fraternity house and my brain starts churning. What is happening inside? Is it a hostage situation? A burglary?
- Sitting in our family room, I see what looks like someone signaling a neighbor with a flashlight and wonder if it's a drug deal going down. (Couldn't have anything to do with seeing a female dive into a neighbor's basement window after acting suspiciously.) It turned out the lights were from unusually heavy traffic two streets away.
- It doesn't stop with me, however, a friend became suspicious when seeing two young men in a secluded field with shovels and an infant in a car seat late one spring evening. This went on for days. Turned out, they were "building" a dirt bike track, and our taking action on our suspicions put an end to their illegal project on private property.
- At a restaurant, I hear a baby babbling, and am convinced that it's my 8-month-old grandson's voice. I text my police officer son and ask for his location. He doesn't answer, so I begin to investigate. Stealthily, I peruse the restaurant, and find the suspect voice AND my adorable grandson.
Nope, a suspense writer's brain is never at rest...