Lots of other authors have written that they get asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” In my case, however, readers often add an expletive. They make queries such as, “Where the HELL do you get those ideas?” or “Why the F do you write about stuff like that?” Sometimes they look at me, with my innocent round face, my middle-aged wrinkles, my guileless blue eyes—OK, maybe not innocent or guileless, but I do resemble a mild-mannered older woman—and they are aghast.
They can’t believe that I write about sordid crime, involving puppy mills and animal torture, murders by knife, gun and fire, neglect and abuse of children. They often think there must be some deep dark secret, some childhood trauma of my own, that I am hiding. Something so horrible awful that I can only allow it into daylight through my writing. Perhaps I am a psychopath who’s found a way to do my evil deeds without actually harming anyone, akin to a Dexter but without the knives.
I do actually have a couple of secrets, but they’re not really hidden. One: I am a retired school principal. I’ve seen, heard, and experienced the fall-out from pretty terrible crimes, most of them inflicted upon the innocent, human or not. The other secret is that I read the newspaper as well as true crime books. There is nothing in my books that could possibly be worse than what actually happens in real life.
The great part, though, is that I get to punish the bad people in my novels. I send them to their maker or torture them back or kill them outright or put them in prison. I exact revenge. In fact, I can claim that I am a social justice activist in my own weird way. I right wrongs, ensure happy endings for most of the characters, and give the evildoers what they deserve. I am very much a product of the ‘50’s when Superman or The Lone Ranger always stopped the destruction and mayhem.
This all brings me to my current ebook, the third Emily Taylor Mystery, which is available starting April 1.
It’s a story of journeys. Several voices speak at once in the book, including Emily. The reader follows them all as they try to find answers to their personal dilemmas. And yes, it does have my usual “dark” theme. The children in this book are victims, but they are also heroes, because in the end, goodness and hope do triumph. Each of the main characters experiences a dramatic transformation, an answer to their quest. Each of the villains is more than adequately punished. Justice, truth, and community prevail. My Legacy. Order Legacy Here