If She Loves a Rag Doll, Is She Still Evil?

In My Soul to Keep, there is a character who is a murderous psychopath. She’s been purposely programmed to be that kind of person.  So how do you go about creating a story villain who’s truly evil but has some redeeming qualities? If she loves a rag doll, is she still evil? HOW Fortunately I had a mentor who knew how. How did he know? First, he’s smart. Second, he’s studied successful fiction and movies for a long time. What did he say to me that gave me a clue? He reminded me that a great story villain isn’t all villain all the time.. He also reminded me to look at the villains in books I’ve loved. For example, in Dean Koontz’s The Watchers there is a creature who had been created to be a destroyer, a murderer. He’s loathsome in appearance in and in deed. However, there’s a scene where the investigator-character discovers the monster’s lair. In the lair, the monstrous villain has treasured objects that include a collection of Disney branded toys and movies. It made this reader’s heart soften a touch toward the monster. And it made the monster more real, less one dimensional. WHAT I DID I […]

A Novel Announcement and the Story Behind the Story

Recently I realized I’ve never made the official novel announcement here. News I shared several weeks ago on Facebook and Twitter, but not here. (For those of you who’ve seen Facebook or Twitter you’ll like the story behind the story.) My novel, My Soul to Keep, went live as an ebook on August 21st. It is now also available as a paperback book on Amazon. Other retailers can order it from Ingram. What’s the Story? This dystopian tale takes place in 1961, but America is not the nation you know. It’s an insular land of righteousness, repression, and fear. Drawn into a maelstrom of political intrigue, familial deception, and social upheaval two women, one peaceful and the other violent, seek truth and justice. To find the truth they will have to make sacrifices. Triumph will free them and the nation. Failure will mean a face-off with the angel-assassin, Azrael. How A Nice Girl Wrote A Dystopian Novel You might wonder how “a nice girl like” me came to write a dystopian novel. I moved seventeen times before I graduated from high school. No, neither parent was in any armed service. Seventeen different homes, seventeen different schools. Can you imagine a […]

How to Time Travel Without a Delorean

Would you like time travel in a Delorean? In 1981 a Delorean cost $26,000 US dollars. In 2016, the Delorean Motor Company planned to make three hundred replicas of the 1982 Delorean. Each of those vehicles cost approximately $100,000. I don’t know about you, but that is too pricey for my budget. What if I told you how to time travel without the Delorean? In fact, what if I said you needed a Ford or a Studebaker? Would you still want to travel into the past? When writing a novel, the right details create a verisimilitude that helps your story take on a life of its own. This is especially true when writing an alternate history like My Soul to Keep. Thank goodness I learned the secret of time travel and a way to make a new, alternate America. By now you’ve guessed the secret to time travel—the internet. Not participating in WWII, America would be a bit slower coming out of the depression. So when I looked for vehicles I looked for those that were around ten- to twenty years earlier than the 1960s when Miranda’s story takes place. I found a treasure trove in antique and classic car […]