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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Magnetic Hot Dogs, Glass Eyes and Chow Mein

My mom is reading my current book, UNDERCOVER STRANGER, and says she can’t put it down. Me thinks my husband is sending her checks. HA! The other thing she’s been saying to me is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
The idea for my current book, UNDERCOVER STRANGER (Harlequin Intrigue), came about while I was visiting a local doll museum with friend, Mary Buckham. Now, keep in mind that going places with Mary can be dangerous since she’s been known to smuggle herself into a ski rack at the Denver airport, “just to see where it goes.” Down a rabbit hole, perhaps? ☺
So, Mary and I were viewing the dolls behind glass and one particular doll fascinated me. Her glass eyes were so brilliant, green, and clear. I noticed she was an acquisition from another country…my mind started racing and… we’re off!

Microchip designed to control jet engines are smuggled into the US through collectible dolls.
It’s weird how these ideas find us. Or do we find them? I’m not really sure. Sometimes they come at the most inopportune time, like when I’m enjoying a night out with the girls at Shanghai Gardens and I sprinkle tea instead of soy sauce on my chow mein. See, at this point I’ve fallen into the “idea black hole” and had better whip out the trusty notebook and jot something down. Some might think it rude, but my friends understand (right, Barb?). If I don’t get the idea out of my head, the old brain churns and churns, my eyes glaze over and I hear nothing my friends are saying to me. So it’s best to get the idea down ASAP.

The only challenge is remembering what it means once you pull it out months later. Let’s see, I’m looking in my idea notebook right now and find…

“magnetic hot dogs”

Uh-oh. Have no idea what that’s about. Anyone want to help me out? Pretty please?
While you think on that, I’m off to get my stuff together for my weekend book signings in Seattle. UNDERCOVER STRANGER is my February release and it all started with this notebook scribble:

“microchip smuggled in doll’s eyes”

Here’s to a vivid imagination! (Shoot me your idea for my “magnetic hot dog” mystery and be entered to win a free book!)


Pat White
UNDERCOVER STRANGER, Harlequin Intrigue, 2/09
RENEGADE SOLDIER, Harlequin Intrigue, 3/09


Bridget Midway said...

Hey Pat,

Great to see you on here, too! (*ahem* check out my blog day from a couple of weeks ago "A big Hi y'all, from Bridget Midway"). "Magnetic hot dogs." You got me stumped there. Unless some mastermind tried taking down all of the Wal-Marts and had computer chips or diamonds in every refrigerator magnet shipped here. Yeah, it sounded silly when I typed it, too.

Congrats on the new release! I'll have to get it and add it to my growing collection. :)


lastnerve said...

LOL ...... Let's see, MAGNETIC HOT DOGS Hmmmmmm ..... It could look like a real hot dog, that you could sneak past airport security but in all actuality it contains the countries deepest darkest secrets when you pull the hot dog apart! Ok, that is as imaginative as I can get at 6:30 in the morning with just a couple sips of coffee in me. Great blog!

Shelli Stevens said...

Hey, Pat! I really enjoyed this book and it's great to see where it came from! Hmm magentic hot dogs. Maybe it's like some secret spy tool? A plain Joe uses it to....yeah I give up :D

Kate Diamond said...

Magnetic hot dogs... I'm stumped, too. Unless you're writing an expose on the evils of food processing? Perhaps the magnetic hot dogs are a sign that the FDA needs to step in! :)

Alexis Morgan said...

I know! I know! It's Colonel Mustard in the libarary with the . . . Rats! That's already been done.

Still, a writer's mind works in mysterious--and very strange--ways.

Congrats on the new release. I remember when you were first working on the doll idea, so it's cool to finally see how the book turned out!

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, Pat! Love the covers for your Feb and March books.
Magnetic hotdogs are sent to the villains hotel room and placed near his computer to wipe the hard drive. Yeah? :-)

Stephanie said...

Hmmm... the Magnetic hot dogs has me stumped and I'm usually pretty good at figuring out cryptic messages...

Love seeing how other writers come up with their ideas.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Hey, Pat, congrats on your new release!

Magnetic hotdogs--feed 'em to your kids, then stick your kids to the steel door. You never have to worry about them sneaking out to the yard during nap time.


nightsmusic said...

Magnetic Hot Dogs. Makes me think of those silly refrigerator magnets you get with the adverts on them for this or that restaurant. Maybe they each contain a different piece to an archeological puzzle and are disguised so only the antagonist would know...except for the Hero, of course ;)

I'll have to pick up your book. Alexis put a little bug in my head to come check your post and it sounds like something I'd enjoy :D

nightsmusic said...

GAH! And I meant to ask you...anymore demons tapping on your shoulder to get their story told? I won't tell DJ. He'd just get upset...

Lesa~Dragon said...

It was great to see you last weekend with Dona, Alexis, Lacy and Shelli. Congrats on the new release, I look forward to reading it soon.

Humm... magnetic hot dogs... we should break this down ~

magnetic often refers to something metal, but thinking outside the box it also refers to an extraordinary power or ability to attract or repel, depending on the poles. In that same line of thinking magnetic north is the direction pointed out by the compass, but the true north directional.

hot, well the easy one is temperature - as in not cold. But HOT could also be spicy, stolen, sexy, angry or trendy.

dogs - the obvious one there is canine, but you could also have meant feet, undesirable or unattractive or even a dude. (you follow me dog?)

With hot dogs together, then you have an interesting and sometimes tasty ball game snack or Frankfurter, an expletive, or a show-off.

Clearly you were thinking a very attractive sexy man.. or

.. appealing stolen puppies or

.. captivating show-off or

.. delightful sexy feet or

maybe just an irresistible frankfurter for lunch.

So many combinations, so little time.

Lynnette Baughman said...

Hi, Pat, your new book sounds good. But then, I've never been disappointed by a Pat White book.
Magnetic hotdog? Mine is a variation on poison. The evil heir hides tiny but powerful magnets in the old lady's hot dog and then puts a large iron bed warmer in beside her, for her (heh heh) comfort. The magnets cause a fatal internal obstruction.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Hi Pat,
I just keep thinking about that Oscar Meyer wiener mobile and a high-speed police chase... But that's just me.

Congrats on your new book. Can't wait to read it.