The Story Behind the Story (Melissa Robbins)

Writers have a knack for reading a news article or having a dream that turns into a story.  My short story mystery, The Bones in the Box, which it part of the Sisters in Crime Guppies Anthology, Fish or Cut Bait (due out in May), touches on this very subject. 

I love World War Two stuff and relish reading fascinating stories of the time whether it’s found lost love notes or film or time capsules.  The inspiration for The Bones in the Box sprang from one of these very stories.  In 2010, a French lady died, leaving behind a Parisian flat.  A flat she abandoned in 1942 during  Nazi occupation and never returned to despite always paying on the place.  When her lawyers opened the flat, it revealed a treasure trove like opening an Egyptian tomb.  Items left when she fled, remained untouched, including a priceless painting.

The wheels of my writer’s brain spun. As we often do, I asked myself, why and what if. Why did the lady never return, but still paid on the flat? What if she didn’t want anyone to know what remained inside?

The Bones in the Box was born. Charlotte Graham just inherited a house on a Channel Island from her grandmother who had abandoned it just after WW2.  Charlie never knew the place existed nor the Nazi skeleton in Granny’s cedar chest.  How did he get there? Did Granny put him there?

My son and his heart condition inspired my current project, a middle grade story about a boy with a heart condition who desperately wants to fly for England’s Air Defense Cadet Corps during WW2.  How far will he go to achieve his goal?

Be ever vigilant. You'll never know when inspiration will strike next!