Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fictional Character and Author Fight It Out!

Fishing, Whitewater and Killers Spark REVENGE
[Editor’s Note: Coral Russell of Alchemy of Scrawl has invited me to post a guest article on her site today. The first part of the article appears here. If you would like to read further, just click on the link at the end and it will take you to the rest of the article, including a conversation between myself and my main character, Travis Mays. Coral’s blog highlights indie book reviews, news, and resources, as well as hosting a Blog Talk Radio broadcast for indie author interviews.]
By Mark Young
Recently, I sported a new T-shirt with the word “Writer” emblazoned across my chest, a father’s day gift from one of my daughters. Someone came up with this clothing idea, spawned by the television series Castle, a television cop drama about a New York bestselling author who manages to finagle the mayor into allowing him to shadow a beautiful homicide detective as she solves crimes. The Writer shirt is a spoof of the raid shirts cops wear when they go into high-risk arrest situations or try to execute a search warrant while dressed in plain clothes. Anyway, a guy walks up to me, glances at my shirt, and asks, “So, what do you write?

I began to tell him about my latest novel Revenge, a murder mystery where an ex-cop—Travis Mays, now a university professor— and those he loves are  stalked by a serial killer along the rivers in central Idaho and on the Nez Perce Indian reservation.

He asks, “How did you come up with the idea?”

I studied the guy. “Fishing gave me the idea.” He just nodded and walked away. End of conversation.

Revenge really was born somewhere along the banks of the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers in central Idaho. Less than a year before starting the novel, I began scouting that part of the state, looking for places to use my fly-fishing skills.  One of my favorite pastimes is searching for that perfect fishing spot, and I enjoy exploring endless mountains, rivers, and lakes. Just trying to relax, I dropped my line into the beautiful Clearwater River. I wanted some alone time, but Travis—always the detective—started in on an idea that began to bubble like coffee grounds in those stainless steel percolators you once saw on old cop shows or on Leave It To Beaver.

As Travis blabbed into my ear and the novel idea stewed, I came to the fork of the Lochsa and Selway rivers where they join to create the middle fork of the Clearwater. There, nestled along the forks of these rivers, I discovered the Three Rivers rafting company. Pulling up to the main office, I wandered around the old general-store kind of business, and came up with a brilliant idea for the novel—what if the main character learns to ride the whitewater rapids in this developing saga. Travis always ready to try something new, readily agreed. Unfortunately, it required me to learn how to navigate the white-water rapids of the Lochsa River. If you search on YouTube—using terms like “rafting” and the “Lochsa” you might still come across video feeds of people trying to survive those rapids at the peak of the season. Insanity is the first word that comes to mind. I never saw these videos until just before I took a trip down the river. I almost asked for a refund. … (To continue this article, just click on the link here).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom Is Not Free!

Fourth of July, 1776
Legacy Of Our Forefathers
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. …

Lest we forget the cost. Pray for our country.