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How about a new novel with a Texas Twist? What if you had a fantasy lover and he came to full-blown technicolor life?

Would people think you were a liar? Psychotic? Who would you trust to tell?

Shawna counts on only her closest friends but can offer no explanation, even to her therapist—or herself—though her two Labradors know the truth too well.

The timing couldn’t be worse. A hip Jungian analyst with her own radio call-in show, her life starkly in the public eye, a false step or hidden skeleton could ruin everything. Then a tall, dark stranger arrives to take over her town and play dangerous mind games.

When Shawna’s best friend Annabelle has a fling with that stranger, Christian—a man who is also engaged in a perilous sport with Shawna’s producer—things begin to twist out of control. Christian involves himself in another mind game with Annabelle and her psychotic boyfriend, who has drugged and is holding her captive. The world around them spins into a black hole, swirling ever to deeply into a vortex Shawna has run from since childhood.

Inch by inch Shawna descends. Is it madness? In such a mental state, how can she free herself from her own demons long enough to help save her dear friend?

And why with all the various currents pulling them ever over the falls, does Johnny, a character from an old Western television series, decide to defy all the rules of the Universe and arrive squarely and in full human form in her bed? Is he there to help Shawna face the terrifying loss of death that has a vice grip on her remaining sanity? Or is he part of the unfolding suspense of a lover’s triangle gone awry?

So this is the novel I’m working on now, and what fun it is!

I’ve studied Jung all my adult life, sometimes getting caught by the foot in a complex of my own making. But then, that’s what Jungian psychology is all about, no? It’s learning the tools to claw your way out of the neuroses that try to trip us all.

And in Jungian terms, all women have a male side (the animus), and men have a female side (the anima). By integrating that “other” side, we become full human beings.

Is Johnny Shawna’s animus? And if so, how did he come to literal life?

A few years ago I talked about a fictional character from my early teens who popped back into my consciousness. Johnny Madrid Lancer stole my heart all those years ago, and, after I wrote this, well, he never really left . . .

And then, the real insanity started. And a book was born.

It all takes place in Ft. Worth, where I grew up and so many of my friends still live. So, it’s quite Ft. Worthian. Lol. But the rest of it dances from my head.

So I’m off to it for a bit, taking a deep dive into revisions, adding texture and nuance to the story. Of course, I’ll keep that luscious cowboy from actually coming to real life.

Or, will I?


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