Please help me give a warm welcome to my friend and RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB colleague, Bruce A. Borders. For those of you who don’t know Bruce, he’s the very talented author of a number of books, including one of my favorites, Over My Dead Body. Take it away, Bruce!
By Bruce A. Borders
First, I would like to thank Danica for inviting me as a guest on her blog. I appreciate the opportunity!
Odds are, you have never heard of me. I’m not a famous writer—yet! I’m still one of those authors who write simply for the love of writing. Good thing too, or I probably would have quit years ago!
Part of the joy of writing, and usually my goal, is to make people think, or laugh, or elicit some sort of emotion, such as anger or frustration—not directed toward me, hopefully. Then, through reviews, email, and comments on social media or blogs, readers provide valuable feedback that lets me know how I’m doing in that regard. No matter their opinion, I like hearing from readers; their thoughts, and questions. And, sometimes there are lots of questions. I thought I’d answer a few of the more common ones I’ve received about my book, Over My Dead Body.
The question I get the most is if it’s a true story. The short answer is no. But like many tales of fiction, it does have a basis in reality. I used several news stories I’d heard for the setting and the plot, then added my own details to finish out the story. As I moved forward with the rewrites and editing, the book took on a life of its own and the original stories gave way to a single narrative. This may not be the so-called correct way to write but it worked well for me.
A lot of readers also want to know if the book is based on what I would do in a similar situation. The answer to that is a definite yes! Not only is the story based on what I would do, it is exactly what I would do. That’s what provided the impetus and motivation to write it.
If you haven’t read the book, and are now squiting at the screen, wondering what in the world I’m talking about, here is a short description.
How far will a man go to protect his family? When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from the Blake’s home, Jeff Blake, a financial advisor, responds to the threats in the only way he feels he can – violently. By the end of the short encounter, three people are dead and Ashley, the daughter, is still taken and placed in temporary foster care, so the tragic fiasco gained Jeff nothing. Or, so it seems. Matters are further complicated when Amy, the wife and mother, winds up for a brief stay in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in her home. It seems as though everything is against the Blakes. Understandably, the police, as well as the Courts, are not too concerned with the needs of the family. Complete with many twists of fate, the story looks at the common problems of a typical family caught between love and the law.
I tried to write the book, especially the opening chapter, as if I were Jeff Blake. The news stories I’d heard spanned a few years so, I’d had plenty of time to consider what my response would be. That part of the book was very easy to write. Admittedly, it’s probably not the wisest response and I’m under no illusion that things would not bode well for me in such an event, or anyone, for that matter, who reacted in a similar manner.
From the comments I’ve received, I think most readers would agree, the book describes a typical father’s reaction, and initially, I marketed the book to fathers. However, thanks to feedback from readers, as well as comments from friends and family, I discovered that women, particularly mothers, connected and reacted to the book much more passionately than fathers. Not that fathers didn’t like the book, or that they disagreed, but their response was more matter-of-fact. “Yeah, that’s what I would do too,” I heard more than once—seemingly without much emotion.
Mothers, on the other hand…
Mothers were extremely emotional and far more vitriolic with their fiery reaction. They were out for blood! And calling for the head of anyone who would dare think they could use a position of so-called authority to go after a child. Remind me to never make a woman angry!
Another question that often comes up is if I plan to write a sequel. Well, originally I hadn’t. I think the story definitely ended in the book. But after the response from all the female readers, I have begun to consider writing a similar book with the mother being the one who exacts the vengeance. I think there is a strong potential for quite a compelling story in that.
Problem is, I’m not a woman. Or, a mother. I’m not sure I could write through a mother’s eyes. Not convincingly anyway. And I’m not sure how readers would respond. They might not be interested in a guy’s portrayal of a vindictive woman. Sure, a well-known author might get away with it, but me? I’m not so certain. After all, I’m not a famous writer—yet!
CONNECT WITH BRUCE:
Bruce’s Website: http://bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com
Over My Dead Body is Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:
ABOUT DANICA CORNELL:
Danica Cornell is the author of the forthcoming DARK STAR Sci-fi/Fantasy Series, soon to be published by Cool Geek Books. To learn more about Danica’s writing, her nanotechnology start-up, and her support of UNICEF, please visit: www.danicacornell.com. Danica Cornell is a proud member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.