Friday, March 28, 2008

The Family

Michael W. Davis

Author of: Tainted Hero (Champagne books, 1/08), Forgotten Children (Champagne books, 7/08), The Treasure (Golden Acorn Publishing, 12/07)

It likely comes as no surprise that once you break through that thick barrier and become a published author, you experience some changes. For example, like it or not, a new mistress enters your life, the next book and the urge to get it out of your mind and into the computer. But there’s also an affect on your family. No, I’m not talking about the fact they never see you anymore. Let me give a few examples to illustrate.

1. When they were in their early teens, I asked my two sons, “What do you want to do with your life?” They each gave me a list of professions they were considering, and then I corrected their mindset. “No, boys. I mean, what would you like to do to draw enjoyment out of life. There has to be something that you’d like to do just for fun.” Both sons answered they wanted to write. That was the only time we discussed the topic. Twenty-two years flew by and I decided to do something I always wanted to do but never had time: write fiction. Shortly after reading my first novel, my two sons started writing fiction themselves, but they took a different road. A bizarre journey down the trail of horror stories. We still help each other by reviewing drafts and providing plot and character changes, but where as they think my stories are too emotional; I think theirs are too gory. It’s a constant battle, but we do benefit from each other’s insights. If you’d like to read some of their published stories, they have samples here. Be warned, they delve into the really dark side of fiction writing. I have nightmares after I read one of their stories.

2. In one of my novels, the main character loses his sister to a terrible flaw in the legal system. The character is plagued by guilt because he couldn’t save his little sister. Well, my sister’s name just happened to be the same as the hero’s sister. Go figure. Being that I modeled the hero after my mind set, it seemed appropriate to name the fictional sister after my sister. When my sister read the story, I got a phone call that went something like this:

“Hey bro, it’s your sister.” “Hey Babe, what’s up?”

“Read your book.” “And?”

“Great story, loved it. One problem.” “Like what?”

“Why the hell did you kill me off?” “What?”

“I'm finally in a book and you killed me.” “Yeah, but you had an important part.”

“What, being a corpse.” “But you were critical to the Hero’s turmoil.”

“Next time, let me make it to the end.” “Uh, sure thing Sis.”

3. Several of the characters in my stories come from relatives. Why? Because my female relatives have such colorful lives. For example, in TAINTED HERO, the hero’s cousin got word her husband was at a topless bar when she was pregnant. With her hormones flaring, she drove to the bar with an ice pick and commenced to flatten all the tires on his car. When the cops approached and asked what she was doing, she informed him her husband was inside looking at nude women while she was carrying his seed. The officer hesitated, then told her to be careful and got back in his car. When the husband got home … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what she did then. Point is; the story was true. It was one of my cousins. Course I had to get permission to use it, and you can expect to see a lot of my relatives real live adventures in upcoming stories. I’ve got some wild relatives.

4. Then there’s the most important family member of all, my wife. I did modeled one heroine after my mind’s view of my wife, but with a bit more physical interest. Of course, I’m sworn to secrecy to never tell which one it is. Still, there have been other affects. For example, all my wife’s friends warn her to keep an eagle’s eye on me, seeing all these chats I participate in with all these female readers now that I’m an author. They’ve even gone so far as to warn me that they’ve got their eyes on me (and they’re not joking). Just don’t want an old man to have any fun.

My next post will discuss how stories evolve and take on a life of their own. Till then, have a good one.

Big Mike