John Schlarbaum

John Schlarbaum - Official Site of Scanner Publishing - Since 2005
Abandoned cover

How The New “Jennifer Malone Mystery” Got Started or Inspiration Comes In Odd Places:

With every new novel, I inevitably incorporate some aspect of my personal life into the storyline or a character’s personality and actions. This is true of “Abandoned” – at least the opening few chapters.

In December 2014 I began working part-time as a patient transporter in a metropolitan hospital, moving patients via stretchers and wheelchairs to various departments for tests (ultrasound/X-ray etc.) or appointments, and returning them back to their rooms afterward. During one such move, I had an interesting conversation with an elderly woman that happened almost exactly as you’re about to read in Chapter One. As our time together grew into several minutes, I instinctively knew how the opening scene of “Abandoned” would play out – something I had been struggling with for some time.

The old adage, “Write what you know” is apt in this case, as prior to getting this job I wouldn’t have had a clue about hospital procedures. If I had been thinking of setting a scene or two in this environment, I most likely would have relied on my own television / movie watching experiences for inspiration, but I doubt the results would sound authentic to the reader. Just as I believe my years of working as a private investigator give P.I. Steve Cassidy’s narratives an insider’s type quality, this can now also be said of hospital transporter Luke’s adventures.

As for again writing feisty and intrepid newspaper reporter Jennifer Malone, last heard from in 2011’s A Memorable Murder: it has been like meeting a very good friend after a five year absence and picking up the last conversation you had like it was yesterday!