Story of the story...
I've often read the transcripts of interviews with poor writers who are inevitably asked "Where do you get your ideas?" Usually the author responds with some undeserved diplomacy, but you can almost hear the sigh of exasperation before the polite, and possibly incorrect, answer. I did read one mystery writer's sarcastic "There's an idea store a block from my apartment. I usually go when they're having a sale. You know, two ideas for the price of one."
BLOOD SACRAMENT was born in my classroom, a portable affair that smelled of years of carpet mold. There was this very tall and beautiful young student teacher who was even more brilliant than her height or beauty. One of her projects was the study of the mystery story, culminating in an original mystery short story. I thought, "Why not play the role of student and try my hand at the mystery?" I couldn't write the short story; I just couldn't stop. The falsely-suspected homeless man had a different name and backstory, as did the real killer, than what I eventually published as BLOOD SACRAMENT. In fact, the original novel, for which I tried to find representation via letters to agents and even attendance at a writers' conference, was drivel that in no way resembles what it evolved into. Looking back, I'm embarrassed about that inferior work that I entitled ALTAR BOY.
After trying for 100 letters and that conference, I decided that I wasn't, after all, a writer, so I gave it up. Nearly a decade later, I was hit with several moments of epiphany, which led me back to the keyboard.
I guess that the rest is history?