Tragic Inspiration

The story idea for Peril in Paradise came after a news story featuring a Portland mother whose daughter had gone missing on her way to school. The mother’s anguish, and hope, as she pleaded for her daughter to be found, moved me. Unfortunately, as the story unfolded, the young girl’s body was found a few houses from her home, tucked into some bushes. I found myself wondering how this mother was coping with the death, and rape, of her daughter? What kind of monster had the young girl encountered, in less than a mile from her home, in a neighborhood where she felt safe?

The mother didn’t make another news appearance, heartbroken beyond words I imagined. The man responsible for the girl’s death was apprehended and eventually sent to prison. Closure for the girl’s mother, and the rest of her family. Possibly.

I couldn’t let go of the idea that sending the murderous rapist to prison actually brought closure. Questions such as: What would I have done if it was my child? Would I have been comforted by the man’s conviction? Or would I have wanted a more permanent type justice.

Justice versus revenge? What would bring me comfort? I knew I couldn’t kill someone, which triggered the thought: Maybe I could hire someone? Of course, I watch enough crime shows to know hiring someone to do the deed doesn’t ensure you won’t get caught. The young girl’s rape and murder, coupled with her mother’s helplessness, continued to torment my thoughts.

And then I had a dream . . . I love when my writer’s brain takes a thought and creates a fictional scenario that can be woven into an intriguing story. Hence, Peril in Paradise was born!

In my dream, I could clearly see my villain. I had been trying to come up with a story idea for my Mexico Mayhem series but hadn’t been able to find a plausible storyline that began in the United States and ended in Mexico. Viola ~ Damian Garza provided the crossover opportunity I needed.

I could also visualize my hero. A man tortured by Damian’s previous villainess acts. A man who I could imagine carrying out a murder for hire scenario. Jackson Brady had his own need for justice . . . or revenge.

What I couldn’t see in my dream was my heroine. I knew she existed because I felt her pain and anger over losing her daughter. But I couldn’t see her. But not being able to picture Clara Marsh wasn’t a problem for me. As a mother who has also lost a child, I knew her suffering. Her grief. Her guilt. Her need for justice. Her desire for revenge.

I knew Clara Marsh would be a little like me.

Happy Mother’s Day, Clara ~ Love, Kimila

Published by Kimila Kay

Kimila Kay lives in Donald, Oregon along with her husband, Randy, her adorable Boston Terrier Maggie, and a feisty black cat named Halle. Her professional accomplishments include three anthologized essays in the CUP OF COMFORT series. In three separate contests, PERIL IN PARADISE, has won two first place awards and a third-place award in the romantic suspense category. Kimila is currently a member of a writing critique group, Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA), Willamette Writers, and Windtree Press. PERIL IN PARADISE is the first novel in a planned cross-cultural series, which will include Malice in Mazatlán, Vanished in Vallarta, Chaos in Cabo, and Lost in Loreto.

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