My first Natasha Green mystery is set in a hotel on the outskirts of the fictional city of Augur, in the south west of the UK. The second is set at the heart of the city, in its exhibition centre during the regional final of a gaming tournament.
My 'earth' is set 100 years after an environmental imbalance caused the magical realm to break through to our world in certain places, so beings from myth and legend now live alongside humans.
This made me wonder what the supernatural community would think of online games such as World of Warcraft. Would they be amused or angry? I decided it was probably a mixture of both and that some entrepreneurial beings would create their own game.
The result of these thoughts is the game Midnight, which is the best thing in online role playing. They also hold gaming tournaments around the world, starting with regional, then national finals and going onto a world champion. The tournament version, called Midnight Mayhem, is a little different as players are each given a territory and similar resources with the goal of taking as much land as possible from everyone else.
I thought this was a fun set up for Natasha as it takes her out of her comfort zone of gardening and into a new arena. Her cousin Dom, who is one of the five regional finalists, persuades her to go along and watch him play.
I enjoy world building and am happy that my 'what if' musings came up with this particular background to the mystery, plus it allows Natasha and Dom to spend some quality time together.
Just for fun, I created a poster for Midnight Mayhem (see below).
I'm currently writing the first draft of this second mystery, Murder in the Lotus Flower, and it's due out by the end of 2015.