I was a professor of writing for four years at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix campus. I fell in love with the Caribbean. It truly is American paradise. I have always loved a good mystery, especially one with never-ending twists, turns, and surprises. Local color is important to me, so I saw that placing a mystery on the romantic island of St. Croix was a win-win situation for me, since I am like a reader when I write, never quite knowing what will happen next.
I thoroughly enjoyed every second of writing DEADLY EYES. The varying elements all seemed to fit together so perfectly. Reggae, calypso, swaying palms and sandy beaches provide such a terrifying contrast to the fact that a romantically linked couple is so brazenly stalked in such an idyllic setting, which sets the perfect tone for what I wanted to achieve in this mystery. Romance, beauty, and mystery are all intermingled in DEADLY EYES.
Since I know the island of St. Croix so well, having lived there, the setting posed no real writing problems at all for me. In fact, the setting actually enhanced everything I was attempting to achieve. The local color is authentic, but the plot is my own creation, the bits and pieces falling into place as I dug deeper into the story.
Creating the authentic local color came easily for since I had spent four wonderful years as a college professor on the beautiful island of St. Croix. I love the island! I miss being there. The only research I really needed was to make full use of my own memory bank, which is a storehouse of exciting moments personally experienced by this author. St. Croix is a part of me and always will be.
In addition to being excited as I wrote about an island paradise I truly love, I found myself really liking the two main characters of DEADLY EYES. Cuff is a laid-back sort of guy, a real looker, a guy who has come to live on the island to get away from some bad memories on the mainland. He and his girlfriend, Rosie, are both very strong individuals, and the repartee between them was quite enjoyable for me, the reader-writer, to observe. She is like Maureen O’Hara, the one woman who could actually stand up to John Wayne on the big screen. The two actors were like magic on the screen together, and that is how I view the relationship Cuff has with Rosie. They are both caught up in something scary that they do not understand, but neither will slow down one iota in their quest for justice.
I actually found myself falling in love with the character Rosie, Cuff’s girl. She is sexy, independent, and flippant, and I thoroughly enjoyed creating the repartee between her and her boyfriend, Cuff. Both characters are people I would love to know. I was sad to have them leave my computer and move to their new home on Amazon Kindle. I miss interacting with them on a daily basis. I never quite knew what they would say or do, and I loved seeing them cope with their circumstances and evolve as people.
Yes, the setting, the local color, the mystery, and the characters all combined to give me a good read as I wrote the book. In fact, being the reader that I am as I write, I was sorry to see the book come to an end.