First create your trail (then your hero can follow it)

(© Greta van der Rol)

I’m busy finishing a book. It’s that one about the tigers which I’ve mentioned before and it’s a paranormal romance with some thriller type smuggling elements. So now I’m back to basics. If a substance (in this case tiger parts) is being smuggled, how does the chain work from living tiger to retailer of Chinese medicines or tiger pelts? Because if I don’t know, how is my hero supposed to unearth the trail?

Mind you, I can only find out so much from the net about how these things happen. A search will show you how tigers are killed by poachers. It isn’t pretty. But from there, the skin, bones and organs have to be transported out of the country. I made up my own trail – shonky medical labs, bent airport freight handlers in several countries, dealers, couriers. It’s a money trail; it always is.

Are you wondering about that picture up there? At low tide, water runs down the beach into the sea, creating a myriad of channels. Some go somewhere, others disappear into the sand.

A bit like smuggling, really.