My novels begin in different ways. Sometimes they are just vague thoughts that dance like wraiths in my head and heart for a while. Sometimes they come to me out of the blue like a giant mosaic, all laid out in copious detail. One such book came to me while I explored an abandoned island off the coast of Maine, its houses empty or gone, leaving only daisy-strewn, grass-carpeted cellar holes behind. I stood on one such foundation on a bright sunny day, and the thought came to me, what if this rock I am standing on gave way and I fell into this hole? What if I hit my head, then woke up to find a roof blocking out the sky and the century was in the past? I had such a great time writing that story and exploring the history buried in that old foundation. I hope one day that book will find its way into print because I loved that hero and heroine and I enjoyed the months I spent living in their story.
Whatever it Takes was born differently. My main character, Matt Steele, arrived in my head first, and he was struggling with a problem. But then I had to find a venue to put him into. Perhaps because it was a presidential election year, that became his world. The rest of characters came, one at a time, some because I needed them, some because they demanded to be included. And the story evolved as they argued with me, told me things I didn’t know, and interacted with each other. I created his wife Eve and thought I knew her story, but she surprised me by being very different than I’d first intended. There was a lot of research to be done this time as well because Matt’s issues were out of the past. More than thirty years in the past. But I love history and enjoy research so that was a pleasurable adventure. Researching the down and dirty of our political world wasn’t nearly as much fun, but along the way I found Thanh and then Annie. Ben and Megan, Murdock, TJ and so many more fun and interesting characters joined the cast, bringing their personalities and problems. Now that the final galleys have been checked and rechecked and the writing is done, I will miss them.
Sergeant Samuel Gray Davis, the hidden hero in this story died over thirty years ago and he was named after my grandson, Samuel John Taylor, who died seven years ago of SIDS at the age of five months. Samuel is dedicated to all the young men who went to fight in that war during my coming of age. He was inspired mostly by my brother, Scotty, who did come home, thank God, and a childhood friend who did not. Sam was a boy once, and you get to see some of the things that made up the man he became. Sam had a mom and a dad, family and friends, just as all the young men who have served our country from its beginning to the present day. A family to mourn his loss and treasure his memory and keep old photos to remember him by. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to all the young people who serve in our armed forces, protecting the freedoms so many take for granted and preserving the American Dream.
I hope you will enjoy reading this story as much as I have enjoyed the creation of it. Look for it on Wings-Press.com or Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.