I’ve been thinking today about serendipity. So many good things in life seem to come to us that way. Two elements may collide in a surprising way and produce an unforeseen result. And more specifically, I’ve been thinking about the role serendipity played in the creation of Ripped, my first book.
Sure, a love of the mystery genre is in my blood. The famous writer in my family, John Dickson Carr, whom we called Daddy John, gave my brother and me all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books. My grandfather’s presence in my life and the hearty appetite for writing with which he practiced his profession had a profound influence on me.
But how did I come to write a mystery of my own? I was in London a few years ago, going to plays with others from Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company. We were looking for exciting new plays to import to Boston. Serendipity combined my environs on this trip with my lifelong interest in nineteenth-century England.
There I was, walking some of the same streets of London that Jack the Ripper had also walked, safe from being identified as the most notorious and vicious killer of women the city had ever known. Creepy, right? Right there and then, I began to research my book, digging into the most famous murder mystery in London’s history.
Serendipity, the best friend of a writer, also led me to my editor and to the publishing company that brought out the book.
While I was researching and writing this novel, I happened upon another tale that intrigued me as much as the story of Jack the Ripper. It was outside the scope of my book, so I saved the material I found and will use it in the next book. Serendipity at work again!