26 March, 2009

The Genesis of an Historic Fantasy About Empaths & The Abuse of Power

The underlying concept was not difficult to come by - I knew I wanted to write a book about an Empath. The story itself, however, was a bit more problematic. I had my two principal characters, or so I thought, but everything I came up with seemed forced and artificial. I had, in fact, already written several chapters, when ‘it’ happened.

I was standing in front of my dresser, over which hangs a wonderful black and white pencil drawing by Marita Parisi, an incredibly talented artist. She had exhibited in Hartford, CT, about 20 years ago at a Christmas Craft show in early December. It was at that show that I met her and purchased one of her drawings, The Basketmaker. Frank, the 90-something-year-old maker of willow baskets and the subject of this particular drawing, has held a place of honor in my home - and in my heart - since that day. And in the spring of last year he became the inspiration for my novel which is to be released later this year.

I kept staring at the picture, feeling somehow, that there was an answer in all those beautiful, intricate lines. And, in fact, there was.

Frank - or, more accurately, his predecessor who would live three centuries ago - became my new principal character and the first chapters I’d written were set aside for possible use some time in the future. Fifteen minutes later, I had the name of the town in which the story would take place, who the Empaths would be, how Empathy would be ‘discovered’ and studied and documented, how Empaths would be singled out, isolated and victimized - sometimes inadvertently, sometimes intentionally - and the time-period over which the story would take place.

More to follow...

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