The Silent Partnership
Writing can be both a joyful and challenging process. There’s the satisfaction of conjuring something from nothing: building a world and bringing characters to life from nothing. There’s a great deal of freedom in that process. And power. A writer is Queen (or King) of the universe, able to defy the laws of physics (and sometimes common sense).
But there are also things that scare me. And one of those things is being exposed. Publishing a story creates a covenant between the writer and the reader, in which the writer exposes her way of thinking. Despite what we say about it all being fiction, I think that most writers convey an intimate piece of themselves in that exchange. Some fragment of one’s inner self is in each story.
It’s a lot like being naked in front of a stranger.
That’s a bit disconcerting, at first. I wondered if I’d get goosebumps and back out of the arrangement. Write something distant from me. Something sanitized, without that connection, and appear before the reader in a winter coat, hat and gloves.
But I don’t think that’s what readers are looking for. That’s not part of the deal. Part of the agreement is sharing something with the reader that is unique to the writer. Something that they haven’t exactly seen before. It’s about stripping bare, standing before the reader with toes curled and holding one’s breath.
It’s disconcerting, at first. But I’m learning to get used to it. To allow people into my head. I’m a pretty private person in my day-to-day life. I don’t want people close to me reading my work. I don’t want them knowing me that well and taking the mechanism of the story apart to know what makes me tick. I don’t want my parents reading my sex scenes. Or my co-workers wondering why I know the exact temperature it takes to incinerate a body. I draw the cloak of pseudonyms around myself and have that distance with them. I’m not stripping down for them.
But I’m willing to stand naked before a stranger.
Because it’s for them. It’s a special agreement, that knowing. It’s an invitation into a world. It’s a collaboration, creating a world at the intersect of ink and the reader’s thoughts.
That’s a unique relationship. Invisible. But also more familiar.
Alayna Wiliams (a.k.a. Laura Bickle) has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her chief muse, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Writing as Laura Bickle, she’s the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket – Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she’s the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE. More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: www.salamanderstales.com
The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.
Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around – and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn’t need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.
Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards – and Tara’s increasingly ominous dreams – suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi’s Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…