Well my strongest lead on possibly finding an agent to talk to petered out today. A friend of mine has a good friend whom she thought was a retired FBI agent. Turns out he actually used to be Secret Service. So while I was in the shower today, washing off the grime of a morning’s gardening (got my herb garden planted, did a bunch of weeding, pruning, taking out of dead stuff, and prepping the bed where I’m going to be planting my zucchini and squash all while DH was mowing), I was mulling over the intersection of stories in my little world. One of the things that Collin and Kensie’s story is dependent upon Collin being Sheriff. And how that happens is that there was a big sweep/sting that got rid of a bunch of corrupt county officials. To backtrack, in TD Marin is having all these weird things happen and can’t get any kind of help from the Sheriff’s Department. So it occurs to me that TD must come first. I figure Collin can make a cameo, which is always fun.
So then it occurs to me that I could maybe change up the opening to HOC. Change the setup. In the original version of this story, Kensie was on sabbatical. In this more recent version she was brought in to consult as an active agent. What I envision now is a sort of combination of the two. See, Marin went to grad school and worked in Virginia. So I think she knows Kensie, who has been living in Virginia for the last four years or so. Totally independent of the past, but they became friends and stayed in touch when Marin moved back to Mississippi. So when Marin and Wyatt get married, Kensie comes in for the wedding with the intention of taking a couple of weeks off because she hasn’t had a real vacation in years and she figures it’s high time she faces her ghosts back in Mississippi. As Collin is the newly elected interim Sheriff, he misses the wedding because he’s working, and Marin (when she meets him briefly in TD doesn’t know the story because Kensie never talked about it) doesn’t know they have a history, so can’t warn Kensie that he’s around. Kensie assumes it’s been ten years, surely he’s moved on somewhere else. So she comes in for the wedding, I get to indulge in my love of marrying my characters off, Marin and Wyatt head out for their honeymoon, and Kensie settles in at the Inn for her vacation. And she’s the one who discovers the first body (haven’t yet worked out the details about HOW that happens, but it’s totally the bad guy’s intention). So she calls 911 to report it, which brings Collin and company and so their first reunion is over a body. Lovely. Big shock on both parts. She recognizes certain similarities of this case to another she has worked and calls in her team-I think this gets me around the jurisdictional issues I was dealing with before. It also provides more conflict because there’s the normal pissing contest with the local LEOs over whose case it is. I still have to figure out what sorts of people would be coming on the team though.
Anyway I think I’m pleased with the resolution to my problem. It may not be how they really do things, but I think it’s logical and falls into the realm of believability to readers.