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I dream all my stories before I write them. I hope you dream, but whether you do or not, keep reading others’ dreams. That’s what reading novels IS.
Skull County, USA is the first in a series about Kate Steiner, a former nurse from the long ended Afghan war. Adventure and action are only part of what makes this woman tick, in Skull County Colorado on the Western Slope, in the shadow of Grand Mesa, biggest flat topped mountain in the world.
She is wounded, physically and emotionally, she is not your stereotyped female action lead, dropped into a male role. She is complex, she is tough, covering up her pain and damage from the war as best she can. She has come home to Skull County, to the dry land farm her parents owned, to heal, and to hide from the world. As a physician's assistant, she travels the stone roads of Skull County, administering to those who cannot drive down mountain to the local hospital. They are poor, one and all, in money, but not in spirit.
The Deep, the worldwide depression has little effect upon Skull County, save the increasingly dwindling population, as people lose their farms and move away. Otherwise, these folks live life as usual, hand to mouth, better suited to a ravaged economy than those in cities. They know how to make do or do without.
Kate and her friends, women from varied backgrounds and ages, from doctors to ranch women, from those as young as her thirty-couple years to great grandmothers are the backbone of the series. (Yes, there is a man in Kate's life.) Whether they are saving the US President from killers in a blizzard, or at Kate's elbow, ready to back her with their own money and determined spirit, these women, with Kate in the lead, make for a series that is part Tony Hillerman, a bit James Lee Burke, but with my own twist.
Many writers have their own agenda, and I realized by the end of Skull County, USA that mine was not to demean, rather to sing the praises of the American spirit, that determination that has endured since the Revolutionary War. Honesty, realizing one's errors and correcting one's path, overcoming what is bad at any cost in time, effort, money or blood is what this country is about. If you want a mixture of up to the minute, exciting writing mixed with a lesser message of the triumph of good, I am your man. I'm not preachy, not religious, but I feel good,writing about old time values overcoming the new world order of greed, thoughtlessness, the sense of entitlement upon others' backs and a failure to teach the new generation about civility and decency.
Don't get me wrong. I am a capitalist, basically conservative in my outlook about life. But I fight the tendency to hide from the world because I don't like what it is becoming. My stories, I hope, will re-engage me with the world, as people find me entertaining and provocative.
Sisterbaby's Monkey is the first and the ending story, chronologically, in a series where the new stories will be prequels to this one.
Sisterbaby's Monkey flashes back to World War I in dreams of an aged couple who have kept secrets from each other for 60 years, dreams that a ghost forces them to share, revealing truths long buried, answering the ghost's biggest question. A rape and murder, the horrors of war, the secrets kept reflect the mores of the time, the wounded lives that result, the triumph of spirit even from beyond the grave. Love does conquer all.
Both of these tales are the first in series, so I hope you will enjoy them both. Many more are in progress, in varied genres and voices. Ebooks allows me, finally, to speak as I will, to not be "genrefied" or boxed into being one voice, one style. I believe in my series, and I believe in my stand alone novels, every one different. I hope you will, too.
I'll have some non fiction coming in the next year, as my experience in the world of mortgage and finance allow some advice and reflection on our collapsed, despirited economy that I have come to call our Big Bust. That same experience informs the Skull County stories with political and economic glimpses of what could be, in a near future America, if we keep going as we are today.
For now, watch for my blogs, my notes on all the social networks, write to me, let me know what you think.
Thanks, America. As I say all the time- Keep Kickin' and Don't Never Quit, Y'all!