I’m not really sure where the idea for The Code came from. When I arrived at the end of Secrets Within I knew I had to write a book for Ryan, but the rest is a bit of a mystery. I know it started with the graffiti, but the ideas for the plot came slowly after that. There was a fair bit of staring into space as I mulled over different scenarios I could use. Some things can’t be rushed!
During the writing of Seeing Red and Secrets Within, I became familiar with certain areas of the New London submarine base. One of my tools for research is Facebook. I like to follow Pages that relate to the subject matter and came across the New London MWR Page (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation). There was information on programs run by the base library, located at the Dealey Centre on the base. It was the perfect central spot to set up the crimes—though I have taken a chunk of license with the actual library and surrounds. I had a setting, which did help with the plot.
One of the hardest things I found with writing The Code was keeping track of the plot—what clues there were at each step, the messages, even which day of the week it was. The story grabbed me and ran, and it was hard keeping up. I ended up with a chart of who, what, where, when, clues, etc, I could refer to. Imagine writing a scene where the three investigators were recapping and not being able to clearly remember the details! Once I had it mapped out it became so much easier.
I’ve really enjoyed writing the characters of Ryan and Alex. Ryan has been in the New London books from the beginning, but it was a joy to explore who he really is and bring him into the spotlight. Alex was as elusive to me as she was to Ryan in the beginning. Like the plot, it took time to reveal her personality and I loved her way of driving Ryan mad with her answers to questions. So much fun!
As I wrote in my blog post last month, it is a little sad to be finishing the series and leaving the characters. I satisfied I’ve left them all in a good place and I have so many other stories waiting to be told that I need to move on. It was wonderful to visit New London last year and tour the submarine museum located beside the base. I’d finished the book shortly before I left, and the stay in New London was a fitting way to celebrate the series.
If you have read the first two books, I hope you enjoy the final story. I’ve loved the journey of writing them, but now it’s time to move on.
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