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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where on Earth Do You Get Your Ideas--Part Dos

I just noticed that I started my Spanish countdown on Cinco de Mayo.  How international of me...

I'm feeling random today.  Which book should I highlight?  I'm thinking Wounded Earth, because I'm feeling very environmental lately.  We just celebrated the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day, and I kinda think I remember reading about the first one in my Weekly Reader when I was in third grade.  I've already blogged about how sad the spill in the Gulf makes me, so I ain't going there today.  I've been associated with an environmental consulting firm in various capacities since 1988, though I haven't worked there full-time since the mid-nineties.  But that's when I wrote Wounded Earth and it's why I wrote it.  First the cover, then the story:

Wounded Earth

I was on bedrest for complications related to my third pregnancy, so I was only working part-time, doing the kind of consulting you can do from a hospital bed--reports, management, proposals, estimating, data analysis.  It kept me busy, but there are 24 hours in a day, and I don't like daytime TV.  So I took the chance to write the novel I'd always said I didn't have time to write.

I took a correspondence course, and I put my heart into this project.  I took the "write what you know" adage seriously, so I chose the environmental industry as a backdrop for this thriller.  And I chose to write a thriller because I don't do things by halves, and I wanted to sell a lot of books.  (Still do.  LOL.)

I created a character, Larabeth McLeod, who was strong and smart and independent...and vulnerable.  She gave a daughter up for adoption when she was very young, and that daughter is her Achilles' heel.  When a man from her past who hides behind the moniker of "Babykiller" begins stalking her, he finds her easy to control.  All he has to do is threaten the daughter.  And because he wants to see Larabeth squirm, he reveals to her his plans to wreak environmental havoc in retaliation for the US government's treatment of Vietnam veterans.  Larabeth has built a career as an environmental scientist, so in its way, Earth is her other Achilles' heel.  But she's never been a weakling and she's never been a pushover, so Babykiller isn't going to take Larabeth down easily.

Wounded Earth was a strong enough book to get me a hotshot Manhattan agent.  And it was a strong enough book to get Hollywood sniffing around after it.  But it narrowly missed a shot at publication when the powers-that-be decided that Larabeth might be too smart and independent to appeal to their readers.  She appealed to them, but they clearly felt their readers weren't quite so sophisticated. 

Well, that stung.  How could anybody expect me to live with a weakling for 90,000 words?

I ignored that point-of-view as I wrote the next book, creating in Faye Longchamp another smart and independent woman who, fortunately, found a publisher that liked that.  I'm six books into the series, and I think there are plenty of readers who are sophisticated enough to appreciate her...and Larabeth.  So I have published Wounded Earth as an ebook.  If you'd like to check it out, clicking on all those hotlinks will take you to Amazon, where you can buy it for reading on a Kindle or on your computer.  If you prefer other formats, Smashwords has a bunch of 'em:  Smashwords

Getting this book in the hands of readers after all these years, just makes me smile.  :-)

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