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.

Leave a Comment


9 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  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.


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


  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!


  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…


  5. Hmmm….good point. 🙂


  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.


  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.


  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.


  9. This is really a wonderful website on aromatherapy. I have been doing research on aromatherapy on internet for quite some time. I would like the readers to visit also for more informations on aromatherapy. I have a vast database of some wonderful and genuine websites on aromatherapy. In case you want those, feel free to email me at


Leave a Reply

Top ↑