Funeral Home and Guest HouseMy husband and I spent last week in St. Martin, where my next book (Echoes, coming March 2015) is set. If you live in New York, it’s ridiculously easy to travel to St. Martin, a half-French, half-Dutch island in the Caribbean. My parents bought a timeshare there when I was in my teens, which gives you an idea just how long I’ve been vacationing there. It was only natural that one day I’d end up setting a novel on the island, especially with all the interesting stories I’ve heard from folks I’ve gotten to know over the years who live there. (No, none of them involved serial murder or even individual murder, but I did get to know some really fun stuff about both French and Dutch law. And I am chock full of amusing tales about hotels and the people who stay in them.)

The island’s main industry is, naturally, tourism. Because of that, every available space is used to house tourists, feed tourists, guide tourists, and you get places like Jeffrey’s Auto Parts and Fantastic Guest House and Car Rental. Or a guest house and funeral home in the same building. Or a spot called “Skanki’s Bar.” I can’t imagine seeing any of those at home.

The book is already in the hands of my eminently capable editor, and that’s a good thing. Because otherwise I’d have spent my vacation trying to stuff more (probably irrelevant) fun island stuff into the story!