Sep

12

2008

Honey Trap part 3: aromatherapy

Filed under: Honey Trap

For previous parts of this discussion, see here and here.

Honey TrapHere’s how I chose what my heroine does when she decides to quit being a private eye.

I was up in the Lake District visiting Anna and we were driving very fast through the countryside (Anna always drives very fast if she possibly can). And I was talking about my book, whilst watching the scenery go by. I remember going past a wind farm, and saying, “And that’s why Sophie can’t be a private detective any more; I need her to get away from her job so she can realise the moral implications of it. But I have no idea what she should do for a job instead.”

Anna turned deftly into a narrow lane, twisting between hedges, and, steering effortlessly, she said, “Aromatherapist.”

I burst out laughing and didn’t stop for several minutes. By the time the car stopped, Sophie was an aromatherapist.

The idea is it’s completely the opposite to being a private eye: it’s noninvasive, gentle, safe, something that doesn’t involve delving into secrets and darkness. It meant I got to have an aromatherapy massage as research. It also meant I had a lot of fun putting different scents into the book, and playing with Sophie’s response to them.

See, Sophie doesn’t actually believe in aromatherapy; she thinks it’s a load of crock, but it pays the bills and keeps her busy. As I was writing the book, I made sure that every time she uses an oil that’s supposed to have a specific effect, it has the opposite effect on her. So a relaxing oil will make her tense, a stimulating one will deaden her, etc. I’m not sure if this is hugely obvious in the book all the time, but it was a nice little joke for my own private pleasure.


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  1. I hadn’t noticed about the oils having opposite effects, but then maybe I wasn’t paying attention all the time if Dominick was in the room.

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  2. I noticed when the marjoram did the complete opposite of what it was supposed to!

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  3. Well, it was meant to be subtle most of the time, Kate, so that’s cool that you didn’t notice. It was mostly to amuse me. I do these little things all the time to keep myself entertained…do you?

    Jess, that marjoram/anaphrodisiac scene was definitely fun to write!

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  4. Julie, you’re talking to someone who named a character in each of twelve novellas after someone from the Buffyverse (my favourite was a lion named Spike). But then that’s not so much amusing myself as revealing what a big, big geek I am…

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  5. Hmmm….good point. 🙂

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  6. That is interesting. I do the same thing. In each book I write I make a reference to The Princess Bride.

    Sidenote: The hero is very, very drool worthy.

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  7. No, haven’t been noticing that is happening with her. I’m reading it at the moment and really enjoying it. Intrigued to find out who is following her and if it is KM.

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  8. I love The Princess Bride, Melissa! That is so cool!

    Thank you, I think he is drool-worthy too. Mmmmmm. Every now and then I write a hero that all my friends fight over, and Dominick is one of them. Despite being a broke alcoholic serial adulterer, who no longer has leather trousers. Go figure.

    Julie, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Thank you for telling me.

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