If you think you're being watched, you probably are.
And the watcher is likely a novelist.
Writers use every occasion for 'people' research: Family reunions, board meetings, grocery store lines. No one is safe when we're on the hunt for a new character--which is all the time.
For instance, my family is headed to a certain Ozark Mountain theme park, which will be filled with folks who'll wind up in my stories. I'll borrow bits from each person, combine this characteristic with that facial expression, mash them together in my twisted imagination and...Bam!
New scene, new character.
Take that woman next to me in line--tiny, well-coiffed, permanent smile. She's not as perfect as she seems. The backpack she's wearing has a secret compartment (they really should check better at the gate), and inside that compartment are two Glocks. Her ex-husband's here with his latest squeeze, and she's loaded for revenge.
That man over there? Hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched, grey-faced. He can't look anyone in the eye, doesn't respond when one of his four grubby kids tugs on his arm. His wife died last month, and he's barely holding it together. He's trying to talk himself out of the desperate plan endlessly circling in his mind. But the headlines next week will be tragic.
Yet, it's not all gloom.
That frumpy, unassuming woman next to the corn dog stand...the one in green sweatpants, who just bought cotton candy? She's going to break up a drug ring by listening to her intuition. No matter what that county sheriff says, it's just not normal to have so many strange cars out at the Mackey place. She'll have to bake a few pies to get people to listen, but her cousin-in-law Sueann is married to a DEA agent, who pokes around just to keep peace in his home. What he finds is a crooked sheriff with ties to a Texas drug cartel.
No one is safe from the prying eyes of a novelist.
So the next time you're in line at the DMV, look around. If someone glances at you, then looks away, beware.
You could be in someone's next novel.
Cheers...and Happy Writing!