Welcome to the RWAs ‘Three Things I Learned’ blog. Things are starting to chill for the upcoming winter but over in sunny Western Australia, things are heating up! Romance author, RWA aspiring ambassdor and previous RWA volunteer of the year, D.D.Line has been delighting readers with her romantic suspense novels. Today she comes to chat about the three things she learned writing her latest novel ‘A Twist in the Tail’ -the latest in her Trinket Bay series. Welcome D.D.Line!
1. Drug Research
Now there’re two words I never thought I’d put together, let alone be a topic I’d pursue. The creation and sale of counterfeit drugs is almost as big a business as the buying, selling and stealing of mainstream pharmaceuticals. Despite tablets and capsules having identifying markers, it’s a roaring trade to tamper with them, or recreate the markers to resell to, or con, the market.
In Australia, we rely on strong laws and restrictions for our schedule 4 and schedule 8 drugs. Medical personnel must keep these potent and dangerous drugs under lock and key and dispense and account for them under strict guidelines at all times.
I was fortunate to interview a retired police officer who shared stories of his encounters on the job. The drug trade is a highly motivated and dangerous business. One of their best defences are the tracker dogs in their canine units, which are trained to track and identify narcotics. Which suited my series perfectly. And according to my poor pharmacist, whom I accosted in a quiet moment, with so many ‘small, white tablets’ on the market, it’s all too easy to substitute and re-market these far-from-innocuous items.
2. Writing a series
Most of the stories I write are short stories or standalones. They’re a brief glimpse into a world I’ve created and then moved on from. What a difference it is to write a series.
The first book was a challenge. Everything was new. I didn’t know who my characters were yet, nor how they fit into the world I created. I was also new to the world of romantic suspense. Fortune favours the brave, it seems.
With the second book, I knew my established characters better and how they would interact with the new characters. I already knew my setting, and this was the perfect foil to introduce a different side of my not-so sleepy coastal town. It was also fun to explore a different romance trope. The first book was a second chance romance, so book two became a sweet, instant attraction /love at first sight.
By the time book three came along, I was ready for a darker storyline with grittier characters in an enemies to lovers romance. I had so much fun writing their banter and embracing my inner snark.
I must confess, as much as I enjoyed writing those romances, what I loved most was creating the personalities of my canine characters. Charlie, Jester, and Goose were a delight to write, and my readers embraced all their quirks. How does that W. C. Fields quote go? ‘Never work with children and animals.’ They steal the show.
3. Finding my tribe
Is there a better feeling in the world than finding someone who ‘gets you’?
We all know how lonely this creative pursuit of ours can be. How much we live inside ourselves as we create, doubt, and strive to do better. How some days we battle with our characters, our words, and the muse who decides it’s time to have a hissy fit and exits stage right without so much as a ‘smell ya later’.
Thank goodness for the times when we’re pounding the keyboard with our foreheads, overdosing on our ‘poison’ of choice, and staring forlornly at the wall that our tribe has our backs. Those wonderful people who cheer us on, cry with us, or give us a dose of cold, hard reality when needed. Those who revel in our achievements and our wins, and console us on the down days, the what-the-hell-was-I-thinking days. And especially those who inspire us with their magic, so we feel ready to step up and try again.
To my tribe, thank you! I am truly grateful.
About A Twist in the Tail
With his integrity questioned, and her heart on the line, can two officers prove love and duty can co-exist?
After a devastating experience, former professional ballroom dancer turned K9 officer, Senior Constable Ashlee (Ash) Rogers traded glamour and promenades for guns and patrols. Now she maintains a tough exterior and keeps everyone at a safe distance. A task which proves difficult when a fellow officer at her new posting tempts her suppressed femininity.
First Constable Dermott McClane’s brutal injury in the line of duty has left him with a growing dependency on painkillers he’s desperate to shake. When the attractive new police officer who’s been assigned to his police station arrives, she sparks another craving. She’s more challenging than his determination to return to full duties. But Dermott is hiding a secret. One with devastating consequences should it be revealed.
With a suspected overdose victim in the hospital morgue, and potential sellers looking to score their next hit, sparks fly as Ash and Dermott work together to solve the case. A tip off about missing drugs from the hospital storeroom leads Ash, with the help of her patrol dog, Goose, to believe the theft is an inside job. The clues aren’t adding up, and her instincts tell her to keep investigating, even if it leads to her fellow officer, the one man who has her heart dancing and her desire soaring.
Can Ash discover McClane’s secret and solve the case? Or is he about to tango with her heart?
A Twist in the Tail is a contemporary romantic suspense novella set in the fictional town of Trinket Bay in South Western Australia.
D. D. Line lives in coastal South Western Australia with her family, a curious cat, and two pups trying to dig their way back to Queensland—we’re from the Sunshine State.
Reading was her favourite childhood pastime. In her senior year, thanks to a crush on her English teacher and a desire to impress him, she developed a deep love of writing stories.
She writes Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. Her Trinket Bay romantic suspense series is published by Gumnut Press. Her short stories have featured and placed in Gumnut Press’s ‘Sweet Delights’ anthology, KSP Writing Centre’s Spooky Stories Collections, Western Australian and Queensland Writing Group anthologies, RWA’s Little Gems Moonstone Anthology and GEM – a 2014 Dr Liz Huf Memorial Tribute Anthology.
She’s a wife and a child wrangler, been a mini lab photo developer, an admin assistant, a copyeditor, a proofreader, (no, she can’t edit her own work), and a wannabe baker who wishes she could sing.
D. D. Line is the Aspiring Ambassador for Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) and a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand (RWNZ) and the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA). She loves hearing from her readers.
Trinket Bay Series
A Nose for Trouble: books2read.com/u/m0lNN0
An Ear to the Ground: books2read.com/u/4jP77k
A Twist in the Tail: books2read.com/u/4XDMv7
Where to find D.D.Line on Social media
D.D.Line Facebook reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ddlinereadergroup