Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Why of Bad Apple 1: Sweet Cider

Some years ago, a man I knew was murdered.  It's an event that shocks you into numbness, horror and fear.  Then comes reflection.  You need to answer the question "why?" so draw immediate conclusions.  Life must regain its equilibrium, so you grab for anything that makes sense.  That's comfort.

Unfortunately many murders are not random happenstances where people snapped and committed a terrible act.  There are years and incidents leading up to the moment.  If you are fortunate, you get all the information you need to understand.

It took a number of years for me to come to a place where I could explain the murder of the man I knew to myself.  Then I wrote Bad Apple so I could present the important elements to others. 

These books are not the only way it could have been done.  I could have told about the ring of men who found the young boys to molest, how they were groomed to submit, how the man in the book enjoyed the life he lived and was anything but ashamed or regretful, but I chose to tell the story through Neal, who was collateral damage of the lifestyle choices of the pedophile.

I wanted to tell Neal's story because she survived and no one else did.

Monday, October 26, 2015

When the frost is on the field

It's autumn.
Ziggy's tail is full of dried burdocks.  I ask her where she picks them up but she refuses to answer.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Persistent or Obsessed?

Probably both and it's not a bad thing.

I want Bad Apple to find its audience so I've been learning about Facebook ads this week.  Here's the image I think will run

I've been getting some mentoring help from Dave Chesson, who has been smart and generous, because this process is more complicated than I could have imagined.

There was an article about pedophiles in Germany this week.  Everything seems to make so much sense when it's theoretical. When it isn't personal, you can have detached involvement.  You can mouth all the platitudes and say these people need to be understood and given treatment and then you can go on to the next thing in your life.

Unfortunately, real people have emotions, drives and instincts that are primitive rather than reasoned.  Most people can't control themselves.  They know they shouldn't reach for the Doritos and then they polish off a whole bag.  They know they shouldn't do many things but once that idea is lodged in their minds, it's like they've been hit by a tractor beam and are pulled closer and closer until they act on the idea.

I suppose this issue of pedophilia could have been featured more prominently in the book.  Maybe it should have been.  Maybe it will someday.  It wasn't appropriate for the audience I was writing for at the time.  But I did explain it as I saw it then.

When it happened, when the police told me my friend had been murdered, everything was so clear, so comprehensible.  He was a victim.  Someone had taken his life.  Then when I found out the killer had been molested by my friend as a child, suddenly he became a victim and nothing was clear.  It still isn't.  The killer is in prison doing 45 years.  They were both smarter than to end up like this but there were irresistible dark passions working on them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Free Audiobook of If Wishes Were Horses

Winner will be chosen at random from comments.  Terrific narrator.  Good luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I'm not a coder.  I get confused by all this and know people say WordPress is so simple but eventually I'll learn it, just not now.  So I get by with a very nice program from Microsoft--Expression Web.  They gave up on it a while back and now offer it for free.  I think it's quite lovely and has a less steep learning curve than Dreamweaver.  It's still not easy and since not many people ever used it, there aren't many tutorials but I'm familiar with it.

I had some advice on my Bittersweet Farm page and that got published but I wanted to add a Bad Apple page and wound up in the weeds.  Little weeds but sufficient to stop me for a couple weeks.

Today, triumph!  Bad Apple

Now I'm ready for the freebie promo coming up at the end of the month and get back to writing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why Did I Write Bad Apple

One late August afternoon some years ago, I received a phone call.  By the end of the day, I had been Mirandized at the police station, released, and was trying to fall asleep knowing a friend had been brutally murdered with a baseball bat.

You do want to make sense of these terrible incidents in life.  You need to explain them to yourself so you can go on.  Every week you see it on television.  "He was such a nice boy.  We can't believe this!"  Is that possible?  Can you not know?  Not ever suspect something was wrong?

After a great deal of thinking, reading every scrap of paper in my friend's house, touching everything he had owned, and reading the killer's confession, I put the pieces together.  For me, I understood.

That wasn't enough.  I wanted to write it down.  That took much longer.  Not all of the Bad Apple series belongs to any particular person or incident.  Some incidents illustrated the truth more clearly than the original story.

The cider press was over the mountain from me.  That had nothing to do with the murder but it fit so perfectly, I had to use it.  There are other elements.  That's the storyteller's job to make sense out of disparate parts. 

Bad Apple Box Set Pre-Release

My attention is being pulled to this fine 4 book series I started before Bittersweet Farm.  They are in KU right now but I'm also going to sell them as a box set.  4 novels for $7.99.  That's $4 off what you'd have to pay normally.    Since it's a new project, I need some readers and reviews.  Just send me your email and I'll send you the set.  If you think the books have merit, maybe you'll help me spread the word.
Neal Marchal has lived in paralyzing fear of her violent stepbrother, Joe Kent, for years.
Finding her mentor brutally murdered, cold realization consuming her, Neal Marchal knows Joe has returned. Don’t tell, Joe had said, giving her a crushed leg to encourage her silence.
The secret revealed, Neal flees to safety and begins rebuilding her life. Suddenly, she has a surprising future—performing and a growing affection for the young man who gave her the music she needs so desperately. But the security and warmth were just illusions. Joe’s going to finish what he started years ago because she told. This time Neal vows she, not Joe, will survive.

A coming of age novel appropriate for adults and young adults.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

It's Not Scary

It helps your favorite author.  It helps readers make a decision.
Don't know what to say?
Say "I liked it".