Evolution of the Series



BONNE FEMME came from a question I posed to ponder: Can trust betrayed ever be regained. It was written and abandoned while I worked other stories. When I returned to it after eight years, I saw that although it was a difficult plot to sell, the characters were strong and intriguing. Nevertheless, the book required major surgery to remove extraneous details, anecdotes, asides, and a plethora of purple prose.

The premise was good, but the plot difficult to believe, mainly because my female lead was far too strong and intelligent to ever do anything but detest my male lead. Then I came across these wonderful lines from Mark Twain:

Life does not consist mainly—or even largely—of facts and happenings. Life consists mainly of the storm of thoughts forever blowing through one's mind.

With that in mind, the characters and their dilemma become frighteningly believable.

Richard, Jill, and Mic became so real that I heard their dialog before I wrote it. I found that I didn't want their story to end, so I moved them from Michigan to my native Ozarks. In a sense, I took them home with me. This was the genesis of the Richard Carter/Blue Creek series. CANAAN CAMP #3 and SECRET SONG #4 followed. Then I wrote COLD TEARS #2 as a "bridge" taking the Carters to Blue Creek by way of the southwestern Missouri town of James Mill.