Nice Feature of West End –

Thanks, Darrell!

Check out SnowFlakes in a Blizzard

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If anyone would like a free audible copy – let me know by commenting below. First two people only!

Enter to win

Ladies and gentlemen,

To celebrate my summer release of as-of-yet-unnamed book of short stories, I’m giving away books for the next few months. Enter to win a copy of West End on GoodReads!

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Audio Book

I have a tentative release date for West End on Audio – November 4th!

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West End – hard copy available now.

Is Mike a Ghost? The Supernatural in West End

 

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I was asked, recently, if Mike, the character from West End who disappeared as a teenager and reappeared to the narrator was a ghost.

According to Dr. McAndrew, in the article “Why Some People See Ghosts and Other Presences,” people may see spirits when they “have become isolated in an extreme or unusual environment, often when high levels of stress are involved. These individuals report a perception or feeling that another person is there to help them cope…”

The main character in West End is isolated and in an unusual environment when Mike arrives. She’s not certain she saw him with the soldiers, just that there were soldiers and she never looks at faces, so she states.

McAndrew further states: “The loneliness and isolation, coupled with high levels of stress and unchanging sensory stimulation, might very well produce the same biological conditions that could trigger a “visit” from the recently departed.”

The narrator in West End claims to find comfort in this non-existence she has found. She left home because of the stress which she was unable to handle; she is now surrounded by, so it seems,  an unchanging environment without stimulation.  Then, suddenly, Mike is there.

What do you think – is Mike a ghost?

 

The Psychology of being “Unloved”

 

When I create a character, I take what I know from personal experience, what I’ve observed in other people (I am an avid people watcher), and what I’ve learned from my continued studies.

With the unnamed narrator/character in West End , it is important to understand the primary relationships and their effects.

In West End, the children are nearly parentless. Mom is an alcoholic who dies from the disease and Dad seems to be a workaholic, seemingly unconcerned about his children.

The article, “Unloved Daughters,” written by Peg Streep, lists some of the attributes the character in West End experiences.

Streep’s list is of 7 attributes. These are a few which I believe my character displays:

  1. Lack of Confidence

“The unloved daughter doesn’t know that she is lovable or worthy of attention; she may have grown up feeling ignored or unheard or criticized at every turn” (Streep).

    3.   Difficulty setting boundaries

“Many daughters, caught between their need for their mother’s attention and its absence, report that they become “pleasers” in adult relationships. Or they are unable to set other boundaries which make for healthy and emotionally sustaining relationships” (Streep).

   5. Making avoidance the default position

“Lacking confidence or feeling fearful sometimes puts the unloved daughter in a defensive crouch so that she’s avoiding being hurt by a bad connection rather than being motivated to possibly find a stable and loving one” (Streep).

 

It seems the reason the narrator in West End avoids life is an overall lack of confidence. She does not set boundaries; she knows what is happening at the trains and with her sister is not leading anywhere productive or good, but she is unable to set the boundaries for herself, let alone for a sister. And avoidance is her default position in everything.

However, it is my wish the reader can see the hope within the novel, the things that change within the character that can create something positive.

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Apro-Poe

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe!

To one of the first, authentically American literary voices. Inspiration, then and now, for artists, writers, creators.

Maybe I should have dedicated my book to him – posthumously – that is.

But I think it is some sort of fancy coincidence, fate, luck, whatever you want to call it – that my book, West End, has been released on this, his 207th Birthday.

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West End has been “officially” released. I’m told it won’t be in bookstores – online or in person – for 3-5 days.  OH THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART (yes, I think Tom Petty liked Poe too!)