Sunday, May 27, 2012

Should I Be Worried?

The other day, I am at my doctor’s office for a complete physical. This means that I have a little more time with him than usual. As it happens, I am also in the midst of a rewrite on the fourth Emily Taylor Mystery.
Seventh Fire tells the story (finally) of what happened to Emily and Langford in Vancouver. Some fans have mentioned that they disliked the references to their past, when this has nothing to do with the plot. I obviously didn’t do my job well enough for those who missed it.
Emily’s motivation for becoming an amateur sleuth in The Bridgeman had everything to do with her past. She is terrified that the media and police presence in their idyllic hideout, Burchill, will lead to Langford’s unmasking. For now, the couple wants–no, desperately needs–to remain incognito. They’ve been through too much; they are trying to heal.  The Bridgeman
In Victim, Emily is struggling with the secret. She can’t feel as close to May as she would like, since she is withholding so much of herself from her friend. Her interaction with Agnes Lake is a gift that wouldn’t have happened had she not faced the source of her unhappiness. Emily’s meeting with Agnes coincides with the search for May’s Aunt Oona. Not only that, the discovery they make allows a financial freedom that they would not have otherwise had. All the stories are closely intertwined. The hovering personal history has a direct impact. Victim
Although Legacy barely mentions the past at all, Emily’s childlessness was caused by what happened in Vancouver and is the reason she gets so involved with the Sanderson family. When she and Langford end up being parents, Emily finds the strength at last to deal with the legal issues they’d abandoned.  Legacy
Thus the thread does have a purpose within each of the plots, moving Emily to act and react.
Seventh Fire is the culmination of the couple’s growth, from hiding and an attempt at healing through anonymity, to revelation and confronting the legal tasks.
However, back to my doctor’s office, where I am undergoing that joy of joys, the Pap test. I like to have an idea for distracting myself during especially compromising situations. I tell my doctor that I have another question and he says, ask away.
“If someone were strangled to the point of death, but technically did not die, instead, they were cut up by their murderer and bled out, would you say they’d died of strangulation or exsanguination?”
He looks up at me, his eyebrows raised, and says, “Should I be worried about you?”
I privately think that perhaps he should be worried about someone else, lest I decide to test the theories on an unsuspecting victim. Instead, I laugh, and explain that I am editing my fourth novel, and this question has come up.
He answers from his own store of knowledge,
then does some research for me to confirm.
He does ask two things.
One, do not use his real name.
Two, make him tall, dark and handsome.
Little does he know, that's how I picture him anyway.  Especially the night before an exam such as this one.
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