You Can be a Character in a Book!

I’m helping my friend Angela Novak raise money for Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition. IRC Healthy Start Coalition helps babies and their moms.

Angela is dancing in 2018’s Dancing with Vero’s Stars, and I’m writing a book to raise money and awareness. If you visit or live in Vero Beach, you may know Angela and her husband Nick as the owners of local restaurant Southern Social and local bar Filthy’s Fine Cocktails & Beer.

You can be a character in Death Dances a Tango, to be released April 13, 2018. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Donate $20 or more through this link: http://bit.ly/IDonatedtoAngelaNovak
  2. Email me at Linda@LindaGordonHengerer.com, and send me a screenshot of your donation, and your name or the name of the friend or family member you’d like to see used as a character name in Death Dances a Tango. 
  3. See your name (or a friend or family member’s name) in Death Dances a Tango.

If you donate between April 11 and May 9, 2018, I’ll use your name/name of friend or family member in Death Dances a Salsa, to be released May 12, 2018.

Writing Fiction: Ideas Ripped From The Headlines

Writers are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” Some TV shows, such as Law & Order, have episodes that are ripped from the headlines. What exactly does that mean?

For me, it’s a merging of an idea I had (What if …?) with something I read or hear about. This past weekend, I saw two articles that crystallized a couple of ideas I’ve had in the back of my mind.

Friday: The Vero News is delivered, and the first headline I see says “Accused slayer of Diana Duve fears dying in prison.” I am very familiar with this case, both because it was a local crime and because Diana’s death was one of four within a 24-hour period on the Treasure Coast.

This article, focused on the killer, had a sentence that pissed me off. Taken from videotaped jailhouse visits, he talks about his grief over losing Diana and how much he misses her, and how he fears dying in prison. 

Boo-f***ing-hoo. This is not a case where law enforcement believes he did it but can’t prove it. This is a case where he’s seen on video getting into a cab near the vehicle she was found in. Local law enforcement has indicted him for first degree murder and the death penalty will be pursued. Indian River County is waiting their turn to prosecute him for this crime, because he is currently in jail in Broward County. They have charged him with violation of probation from an aggravated stalking charge, and are looking at possibly a charge for manual strangulation after looking more deeply into his past.

Saturday: People magazine has an article about Timmothy Pitzen, missing since May 2011. His parents dropped him off at school, his mother returned shortly after and took him with her, and several days later she had killed herself and Timmothy had disappeared.The title of the article is “A Mother’s Chilling Vow ‘You Will Never Find Him‘.” 

I read this article, and thought about what the story might be, from both the father’s and the mother’s perspective. 

I’ve been involved with SafeSpace for several years. Domestic violence has been an issue I’ve felt strongly about for 30 years. My experience and knowledge informs how I process everything. Knowing more details about one situation and nothing more than what I read in the article about the other combine in my mind.

Reading these two articles, so closely together, flipped a switch in my imagination. What if … coalesced into a more fully formed story idea, with characters, situations, and a rough plot. I can use the headline, and make up my own story. There might be similarities to the actual stories, but only in the sense that similar crimes have similar circumstances. My characters aren’t any of the real people in these two articles, but constructs to further a story.

Writers get their ideas from everywhere, and nowhere. Ideas are in the ether, and we just need to be open to receiving them.

Post a comment – I’d love to hear what you think.

We’d Rather Be Writing – Release Day October 30!

Today is the big day for We’d Rather Be Writing – 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips! The ebook version was available for presale, but both ebook and print editions are available now. 

Proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry, whose goal is to end child hunger in America.

Due to space considerations in the book, photos of the finished recipes could not be included. I’m posting the picture for my contributed recipe of Chicken and Noodles here:

Fast and easy, I can have a delicious dinner on the table within 30 minutes of walking in the door!

Bonus recipe: Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 Spaghetti squash, cut in half, seeds removed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub cut sides of spaghetti squash with olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in baking dish, with enough water to rise up sides 1/2″ of dish. Cover with foil and seal tightly. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender. 

Remove from baking dish and use a fork to remove the squash from the flesh in strands. Serve as a side dish as is, or to instead of pasta.



What is your favorite fast and easy recipe?

We’d Rather Be Writing – 88 Authors Dish

We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips is exactly what it sounds like. 

Lois Winston, one of my co-authors in the Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries anthology, has edited a collection of dinner recipes and tips for cooking, household, writing, and organization. 

My recipe for Chicken and Noodles is included, as well as some of my tips. I sent out the recipe for the noodles portion of this recipe in the October 1 newsletter. If you don’t subscribe to it, message me and I’ll send it to you.

The price is a very affordable and giftable $.99, with all proceeds being donated to No Kid Hungry. I love that the profits from a cooking book go to an organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger. It’s available for presale now, and will be available October 30 in both ebook and print formats.

All of the recipes were submitted with the understanding that they be fast and easy to prepare. I have a collection of recipes that I can have on the table within 30 minutes of walking through the door. 

I’d love to hear what your fast and easy recipes are!