For this “Meet My Character” blog hop, I was kindly tagged by the delightful Connie Archer, national bestselling author of the soup lover’s mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and A Roux of Revenge are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. The fourth book in the series, Ladle to the Grave, will be released in April 2015. Visit her website and blog and Facebook page. You can find her on Twitter as @snowflakeVT.
He sunk his quill in the well. “The once-beloved horror writer, no less. At last you’ve come to see…Mr. Wicker.”
Intelligent. Independent. Passionate. Depressed. Angry.
Authors rarely kill off the main character in the first paragraph, but that’s exactly what I’ve done in Mr. Wicker, which comes out from Raw Dog Screaming Press on September 16. A Caucasian from Los Angeles in her mid-30s, Alicia Baum lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was once a “wunderkind” writer (or was she just lucky?) whose works peaked in popularity when she was quite young. But now she’s lost everything: relationships, family, career, health.
Not to mention her mind.
Alicia’s career lay in pieces, shredded by the fits of fortune. As her wrists bled, the books she’d written, old and new, burned in the fireplace. Her husband had run off some time ago, leaving her the house with a double mortgage. Relationships, family—they, too, had run out, some sooner than later. She’d waited for the good things to come, nature abhorring a vacuum, but things continued to leave…and after the doctor’s call that morning, that’s when she’d decided she would take the last thing that could be taken. She’d prove God was an asshole for expecting her to hope while He took everything else.
But there’s a reason for her losses; she just doesn’t know it. They were set in motion by a childhood event so terrible that, when she was still a little girl, she brought the memory of it to the Library of Lost Childhood Memories in her dreams. The Librarian, Mr. Wicker, recorded it in a book that she would retrieve upon death. When she woke up, she could not remember the event at all. It wouldn’t be until after death that she would have to collect the book so that she could move on — to other realms, to the next life, to whatever comes next.
Brave, Salty, Badass
When she returns to the Library after the suicide, her experience there is brief. Even then, we see she’s strong-willed and skeptical. She doesn’t believe Mr. Wicker is real and refuses to take her book when it’s time to enter the light. Incidentally, leaving the Library after death without one’s book is A Very Bad Thing. So, without her knowing it was him, Mr. Wicker has her rescued by an emergency crew. She isn’t exactly grateful to her attending physician when she wakes up in ER:
“So, if we let you go, will you try to kill yourself again?”
More tears. She rubbed her cheek on the pillow to dry them.
“Do you plan to do this again?” Dr. Farron asked.
Her eyes drove a look deep into his that revealed not just keen intelligence but bottomless heartache. “You think I’d tell a fuckwit like you? Fuck—OFF!”
Her impulsiveness and anxiety catapult the reader on more than one roller coaster ride; but her openness to mystery, big heart and tremendous courage ultimately help her face horrors that would drive you and I to madness.
Pre-Order Mr. Wicker Now and Save $2.00
Don’t delay! Choose from trade paperback, hard cover or e-book before September 16 from Raw Dog Screaming Press to receive the discount. You can also pre-order the Kindle copy on Amazon. After September 16, prices return to normal but the book will be available at your favorite online store and many traditional bookstores.
Authors I’ve Tagged
Look for entries from these writers around September 4, 2014!
Susan Peterson Wisnewski is the author of Secrets in San Remo and Chasing the Rainbow, both romantic suspense novels. She will be releasing a new series of paranormal thrillers this fall, tentatively titled Adams Thriller I, II, & III.
Sèphera Girón‘s recent Samhain Horror novella, Flesh Failure, was released in July 2014, hot on the heels of Captured Souls (March 2014). Sèphera’s work has also been published by Leisure Books, Neon books, Orion, Raincoast, Conari, Necon ebooks and others. Sèphera is also a professional tarot reader and paranormal investigator.
Jay Faulkner is a writer, martial artist, sketcher, and dreamer but mostly just a husband and father. His work has been published widely, both online and in print anthologies, and was short-listed in the Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. He’s currently working on his debut novel, Djinn, book one of the Blood Ties trilogy.