Because that’s really what I went there to do!
Long ago, I lived far far out in the boonies, all alone out on the farm, writing and learning my craft and loving every second of it all.
But people in the country need entertainment too, you know?
And there was this dancehall . . .
It was one of those huge crazy clubs that was a family affair. Yep, the kids came too. Odd, the things that occur in the country.
So many good times were had with friends! Years after my last visit, it stayed with me.
Through that stretch as well, I began an in-depth study of myths, which would become a huge part of my life’s passion. Reading the great ancient stories, I began to see the patterns—from similar ones all over the world, many originating long before the printed word.
Until somehow, as the odd mind of a writer often works, the country life and the myths amalgamated into a winding story of a people and place embroiled in deep conflict, the outer struggle mirroring the inner war within the main character.
It came to me in a dream. Winding up that magical hill, and then down into a town that time forgot. From there I fell onto Diana’s porch, much as Paula Anne does in the novel, and listened to the myths and stories told there as El Duende blew soul into the face of the listeners. I was captivated by the stories, and began to write them down . . .
Odd how novels come about, no?
And this one grabbed by me the throat and never let go. It went through many revisions, many iterations, over a longer span of years than I can even believe. I fell in love with the people, the place, the idea of what they were trying to build.
I learned more from writing this novel than just about anything in my entire life. Good thing, with all those years spent! But genuine myths echo and resonate deep within the soul, conveying the most profound truths inside us all.
I lost my very breath when I found that the fire’s ashes produce wisdom and courage, just as the stories say.
As the years (and versions) continued, finally coming to publication, never once did I mind proofing draft after publication draft. Each and every single time, I fell right back into this myth within a myth, and cherished my time there.
I can’t say that about everything I’ve written! LOL. To be honest, I’ve whined about having to do that with other books.
But never with this one. It is the essence of my heart.
There is a sequel to be written, but hesitation keeps me from it. Oh, not the work part. That’s always welcomed. But rather that I know a piece of it I’d rather not know, which gives my heart pause. As a grave is being filled, Paula Anne has a fleeting thought, one that doesn’t stick with her. Did with me though. She has a knowing that one day she will return, to bury the last of the Maclean women.
I’m just not ready to go there. Yet.
So for now I’ll ride the waltz on the rickety bridge far from civilization, with the crickets as symphony to the accordion’s strum. And again under the hot moonlight, with a strong arm guiding my naked skin . . .
Because in truth through this book I just fell in love with the pirouette of life. And learned, as did Paula Anne, “that the dance itself is always changing. So, too, the steps we take within in. And once you catch the rhythm, the flow becomes endless.”
My wish is that you catch it too.