Buffy and her husband (currently named Porter, but I am not stuck on that name...) met in high school. They married after his deployment with the Army. As Porter's time in the Army was cycling down and the discharge paperwork was in the works, he was able to be stationed at the Umatilla Army Depot just outside of their hometown.
After Porter left the Army, as so many to, he joined the Army National Guard. One night, during his Annual Training, a call came in and he was sent to the now-closed and decaying UAD in order to investigate some reports of suspicous activity. He never came home.
Buffy, eagerly awaiting Porter's return from his two weeks away, answered a knock at the door late one night. She found an Army Chaplain and Pepper, the OARNG Supply Sergeant and a good friend, standing on her doorstep holding a cardboard box. Inside the box, was a gallon-sized jug containing all that was left of her husband.
Four days later, we meet Buffy as she sits on the side of a hill, trying desperately to find the strength to let Porter go. She is numb inside, not even able to find the strength to cry any more. When her friend Red comes to help them with a situation involving the new FBI agent in town, the only thing she can do is shrug her shoulders, return Porter's urn to her backpack, and follow her.
I don't get the computer much on the weekends. We only have one desktop (so I have to share it with the Boy and the Husband) and the app doesn't work too well on the iPad, so I'll be combining weekends into one blog post on Monday, then going on to Monday's WIPJoy.
Tell you about me, huh? Fortunately, most of you will be reading this directly on my website, so it will be easy to figure out. :-D I don't even need to include links to my other books, because they are around here somewhere, depending on the device you are using to view this.
I have been writing since the fifth grade. I still have the quick, two-page, hand-written story that my teacher picked out as the best and helped me think, "Maybe I got what it takes." I pull it out every once in a while when I am doing a presentation to my son's class to show them that even though their stories right now may not be the best, if writing is what they want to do -- even if it is hard, and it is still hard for me -- they can take what they are learning now and use it later in life.
I have seven novels for all ages and three story prompt books. Four of the books are collaborations with my son, the other six are completely mine. Right now, my time is mostly taken up by our Story Prompts for Kids books. I want to have all 10 out by my birthday in April so we can do a "boxed set" for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Buffy's best friend is Red, a member of the Umatilla tribe. Agent Jiro asks her at the beginning of their relationship, "Isn't calling [a member of a Native American tribe] Red offensive?" Buffy explains that her name in Sahaptin, the language of the Umtilla, means "Red Hawk." Since "Red" is much easier to pronounce than her actual name, Buffy and other friends are able to shorten her name.
Red is feisty. She takes great pride in making people try to pronounce her Sahaptin name, especially the ignorant white folks who come to Wild Horse Casino for their gambling fix. She is about ten years older than Buffy, and a cousin of Buffy's late husband, but that hasn't hurt their friendship. Red was the first that Buffy called when the urn containing her husband's ashes was dropped off at her doorstep, and Red was the one who inserted Buffy into the investigation of a suspicious death on the Reservation.
I have two main characters that we spend the bulk of Unfaithful with -- Buffy and Aki -- in additon to meeting our bad guy. Both main characters are completely different, and were thrust together by circumstance.
Akihisa Jiro is the typical bravado-filled alpha-male... or at least he tries to be. He just graduated somewhere in the middle of his class from the FBI Academy in Quanitco and was assigned as the on-site agent for an Indian reservation somewhere in Backwoods Podunk, Oregon. The very idea of reservations and herding people of a different race into one area and forcing them to live in squalid conditions makes his skin crawl. He still remembers his grandparents' stories about their time in the internment camps in California during World War II. When a body is found on the Res, dead under very mysterious circumstances, he sees it as his ticket out as long as the case is juicy enough.
Oregon State Police trooper Buffy Peckington has lived in the area all her life -- born in the hospital just a few miles from where she lives now -- and married a local from the Confederation. Two days before the book begins, she was dealt a blow that rocked her world. Her husband is gone with no explanation and no cause of death. Nothing from the Army but an apology and an urn. She is forced, by Aki's actions, to return to work sooner than she would have liked. But when it looks like her husband's death and the death of this John Doe may be linked, she can't just crawl back into bed, her face burried in his pillow, and never leave like she wants to.
Both characters present their own unique challenges, but I think the absolute hardest is the villain. I need to write him somewhere between functioning sociopath and determined jingoist willing to break a few eggs for the greater good. He's proving to be harder than I had expected. (Yes, I know, cryptic and unhelpful, but... spoilers.)
But, maybe I just need to get this first draft done so I can focus less on the events and more on character development and motivations.
So, I'm supposed to write something about myself. Well, I am a Christ-follower, first and foremost; then a wife, now of 14 years; then a mom to a very busy almost-10-year-old; and then a writer. All of that, unfortunately, means my writing sometimes gets pushed to the back burner.
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