It’s been a while since I last posted a note about my obsession with solving jigsaw puzzles. I’m not so sure it’s an obsession. Obsessions are compulsions, mania, and preoccupations. I’m not thinking of any of these things.
Yesterday, I received this intriguing comment from one of my readers. My life partner girlfriend also wants to know the answer to this question. She cringes at many of my stories. As many times as I try to satisfy her with a reply, sooner or later, she brings it up once again. I figure everyone of my readers is thinking the same thing. So I thought I would give it a stab and try to answer the question.
The reader asked the following question.
“Just finished the 2nd book. [‘Her Overseer,’ book 2 in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy] and I need time to think about this one? Guess my question is how do you think of these things in such detail? It was pretty gruesome. Are there things you write about that you’ve done or want to do? Just wondering.”
The book, ‘Her Overseer’ is gruesome. It is brutal and graphic. It is the second part of a three-part story within the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. There is a twist in book 3, ‘Her Essentia’ which I think readers will enjoy. My girlfriend cringed reading the first two books, but by hanging in there, she found redemption in the third book.
Frankly, I don’t know how I think up these scenes and describe them in such detail. They just appear in my head as I write them. To me, it is a natural progression of the story that seems obvious as I write.
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. From a young age, I’ve always been interested in mystery/suspense and true crime novels. Later I added science fiction to the list. The more fantastic the story, the more out there the characters behaved, the more I liked it. However, I’m not referring to fantasy stories such as depicted in today’s graphic novels and the like. I like realistic stories that are plausible and could happen in real life. Some of my favorite books from my early years included the true crimes of the FBI, which depicted the thoughts and reasonings of characters on both sides of the law.
My paintings and drawings reflect a naturalistic world. I love realism in my creative works. I don’t do abstract or fantastical creatures, such as depicted in much of today’s art. The one exception would be my love of mermaids.
But fantastic creatures that nature could not possibly develop on this planet through natural selection … no.
I also believe in monsters. Not the kind thought up by the creative minds of scary movie, no, I mean the human kind of monster. The kind that actually exists.
I write what I believe could naturally occur, here on earth, by humans. Nature is uncaring and brutal. Sharks and other predators don’t care about the feelings of their prey. They kill and eat what they want and move on. Orca whales have been observed playing with and tormenting their prey before killing them. From the lowliest of life on earth to the king of the jungle, this is how nature developed life on our planet.
All humans have this drive built into our DNA. Societal norms try to adjust us to not act upon our baser instincts but we all let it out, at some time or another. A husband beating his wife to belting a misbehaving child when a simple spank of the hand would do, are just two examples of human instincts struggling for release. I could list thousands of examples supporting my belief. Fortunately, most of us suppress this impulse as best as we can.
My stories delve into the realm of humans who drop their shields and let out their baser instincts. My monsters are real, and I have little doubt that the monsters depicted in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy, are real and they exist. They hide and stay out of the limelight, but they exist. In the real world, a rare few are discovered and make the news, but I believe that the known monsters are a small percentage of the total out there. No one can convince me otherwise. My scenes are gruesome and describe a realistic interpretation of the human monster hiding in all of us.
As to the reader’s follow-up question, no I don’t write about what I’ve done, nor what I want to do. Like 99.99999% of the population, I suppress my inner instincts in everyday life. However, I will grant you, that perhaps it is possible, that as I write, I allow a tiny fraction of my basic human suppressed instinct out, enabling me to write in such detail.
I’ve been told that writers write what they know. I don’t believe this. Look at Stephen King’s novels. Do you really think he did all that he wrote about? Do you think he thinks about really doing it? I doubt it. Do I wish I could actually do what I write about in my scenes? Definitely not. I’m a pacifist at heart. It’s all in my imagination, knowing full well that these monsters do exist.
On thing I discovered in my writing journey is that I like to write from the character’s point of view, rather than a third party, observers point of view. I like to write what the characters think and feel. At times I will bounce from the protagonist’s point of view to the antagonist’s point of view and back again. I find it interesting to reveal their thoughts and ideas. I like to expose their emotions of surprise, love, lust, anger, fear, rage, bloodthirst, relief and revenge as the scene develops.
In ‘The Taste of Honey,’ I wrote a scene where one of my main characters goes through an ordeal of her own choice. She is offered many opportunities to avoid the tribulation. Yet, she chose to go through the ordeal, knowing she would die in the end. All because she loves her family more than she loves herself.
I wrote the scene from her viewpoint. I tried to capture her every thought, fear, and desire she experiences. I tried to capture everything she endures, moment by moment, from her point of view. I attempted to convey all of her senses; taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell; as she lived and died throughout her ordeal. I believe I was successful and again, all from the characters point of view.
Just know that not all of my books are gruesome. My free short story, ‘A Mermaid’s Irresistible Curiosity’ is a love story with a twist. It’s not gruesome nor brutal. It’s a story about a misguided mermaid who lives a life of instant gratification who falls in love with a fisherman. You can find the short story on my website, RichardVerry.com. It free and you can download it and read it at any time.
I hope that this explains the question and alleviates any concerns about my writing. More importantly, I hope this explains things to the love of my life, my girlfriend, and committed partner in love and life.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of you that purchased and read my books. You are the greatest, and I appreciate your support. My writing has transformed from something I dabbled in, to a passion that I cannot live without. I am writing new stories even now, and I have tons of ideas in my notebook. I look forward to sharing many with you as soon as I can. I am a transformed man, embracing change while bringing these stories to life.
Far and away, the most popular of my books are the ‘Her Client’ series, a study on what might happen if you piss off a client at work. The main character in these books does exactly that but doesn’t know she did so. The day was a stressful one, and it’s about to get worse. She leaves work intending on having a quiet evening at home, drinking a glass of wine as she relaxes in her soaking bathtub. From the moment she walks into her home, thoughts of her tub are pushed aside as she has to deal with a home invader intent upon exacting his revenge upon her. The ordeal she suffers is horrific and, frankly, disturbing. These books are not for the faint of heart, as they document the darker side of humanity. The first book is available free on Amazon and your favorite eBook retailer.
I will tell you, I’m surprised by the success of ‘Her Client.’ I had no idea it would take off as it did. In many ways, it’s horror begs the question, how did I ever think this stuff up? My girlfriend is certainly questioning our relationship. Don’t worry. Our relationship is fine.
‘The Breakup’ is a novella in the same genre as ‘Her Client’ and is a natural follow-up for readers of ‘Her Client.’ The main character is in love with her boyfriend and is certain that he is about to propose to her on a special date of dinner and dancing he has planned. She is an affable kind of girl, easy going, and very trusting. Her date does not turn out as expected, as her boyfriend’s definition of dancing usually ends in death. As I wrote earlier, if you liked ‘Her Client,’ you will like ‘The Breakup.’
A new book, titled ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ about to be published, is in the final stages of review. It too is in the same genre as ‘Her Client’ and ‘The Breakup,’ but is more realistic. I would not call it horrific but you will cringe at what may, and sometimes does, happen to the victims. It’s a full-length novel about what might happen if you came to the attention of an age-old global human trafficking ring simply by going for your annual physical at your doctor’s office.
In this story, the main character is noticed, selected, and kidnapped right off the street. After a harrowing time in an auction house, she is sold off to a foreign buyer who pays an exorbitant amount of money for her. As owned property, she has to figure out how to survive. Survival is not a given. Survival must be earned. She must use every bit of her wit and intelligence to persevere and explore every possibility of escape and return home.
Of all my books, so far, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ is my favorite. It will leave the reader worrying that what happens in the book, might happen to you or your loved ones. Could this happen to you? Yes, it might very well. After reading this story, you will forever be on guard and watch what happens to your personal information. Look for it. It’s coming soon.
My semi-sci-fi series of books are also favorites of mine. ‘The Taste of Honey’ and ‘Broken Steele’ are a study of humanity, and how they must reinvent society a thousand years in the future. The human race overcomes a tumultuous reign of death and extinction events when scientists and corporations lose control of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) which decimate the world. A thousand years later, humanity is the only animal species left on the planet. Even plant-life was affected by the scourge of the GMO’s, forcing people to make the impossible choice, at least by today’s standards. To those in the future, it’s not an impossible choice but an everyday fact of life. Softening the blow, they live in a society where there is no war, no coveting for property or territory, no crime, not a single agency, religion, or morality governing their lives. Sex is enjoyed by all adults, with multiple partners, and in every conceivable situation. It is the main stress reliever in a society struggling to survive extinction.
‘The Taste of Honey’ is my first published book and ‘Broken Steele’ is the sequel. A third book, entitled ‘Lucky Bitch’ is in the works and picks up after the end of ‘Broken Steele.’ All things considered, ‘Lucky Bitch’ should be released later this year.
I love the storyline introduced in ‘The Taste of Honey.’ In many ways, I would embrace living in their society, far from the turbulence of today’s life. After all, no one wants for anything, and everyone enjoys all the sex they could ever want. What’s not to like? Oh well, yes, there is that one little thing but what are the odds? Even if you are selected, you know that you will be helping your family, friends, and community with all that you can offer.
Lastly, available only on my website, ‘A Mermaids Irresistible Curiosity’ is a free short story of a very curious mermaid, who rises from the depths to checkout a very handsome fisherman. She is ecstatic when he captures her and brings her on board. Discover what happens next to a willing mermaid, enthralled by the primal urges raging throughout her body. I wrote this short story decades ago. I love the twist that is revealed in the very last paragraph. Download and read it today for free. Unlike my other books, while it does deal in adult topics, this story is suitable for young adult readers sixteen and up.
Other than the exception mentioned above, all my books are suitable for readers eighteen and above. I hope you enjoy reading them just as much as I enjoyed writing them.
As I close this article, I want to once again thank all of you out there that bought and read my books. I will be the first one to admit that they are not for everyone. However, if you have an open mind, and an open heart, you might just find that you like them.
Read my reviews. Many can be found on my author site on Amazon or on my website, RichardVerry.com. You can buy and download all of my books to your Kindle or your favorite eBook reader.
Finally, thank you to all of you out there that sent me a note, kind or not. I welcome all thoughtful, constructive critiques. I try to respond to as many as I can. Without your feedback, I can’t become a better writer.
As the car pulled away, Lea cast one last wistful glance at the house where she’d spent so many happy years.
“The book left me in wistful reverie, envisioning that shimmering pond and a rugged, robust old gentleman in his ‘herringbone suit’ and jaunty wide-brimmed straw hat, sitting on a three-legged wooden chair in front of an easel, his brushes flying.” — Elfrieda Abbe, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 11 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Are you yearning to know the history of wistful? If so, we can ease your melancholy a little by telling you that wistful comes from a combination of wishful and wistly, a now obsolete word meaning “intently.” We can’t say with certainty where wistly came from, but it may have sprung from whistly, an old term meaning “silently” or “quietly.” How did the supposed transition from a word meaning “quietly” to one meaning “intently” come about? That’s something to muse about, but the answer isn’t known.
Damn, this is a perfect word to use in my books. So many of my characters find themselves yearning, pensive and melancholic. They look for something better, something that will improve their standing in the story. Some are beaten down and just need a sliver of hope. Some can direct their lives in better ways. While others wish they could, but assume that their fates are written in stone. They all have one thing in common. At times, they are wistfully thinking about the other side of the fence.
Wistful is a word that directly points to emotion. Usually, we think of emotion in human terms, but animals and even plants (IMHO) have emotions. I found a great image of Bruce Willis with a wistful, pensive expression on his face. I found the same in other people as well. I even found a meme of a pug, yearning for a scrap of food from their master’s breakfast plate.
I love the word, and I’m going to redouble my efforts to use it in my stories. I hope you enjoy them. They’re available on Amazon, B&N, your favorite eBook retailer and right here on my site. Plus, available only on my site is a short story about a Mermaid who was too curious for her own good. She has no idea what she started when she went to investigate that fishing boat floating on the surface of the sea.
If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.
I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.
Have a great day.
Brought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.
“After sold-out shows in New York and Los Angeles, Rise will make its debut in Boston with a myriad of hand-carved jack o’ lanterns that will light up a trail that people can walk on as music plays in the background.” — Matt Juul, Boston Magazine, 21 Sept. 2016
“The robust and metallic nest-like venue, which is the first ever arena to be run entirely on solar power, features additional popular local restaurants, grab-and-go fresh fruits and vegetables, a touch of Sacramento history with their refurbished neon signs, and a myriad of local microbreweries.” — Michael Morris, The Vallejo (California) Times-Herald, 28 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
In English, the “ten thousand” sense of myriad mostly appears in references to Ancient Greece, such as the following from English historian Connop Thirwall’s History of Greece: “4000 men from Peloponnesus had fought at Thermopylae with 300 myriads.” More often, English speakers use myriad in the broad sense—both as a singular noun (“a myriad of tiny particles”) and a plural noun (“myriads of tiny particles”). Myriad can also serve as an adjective meaning “innumerable” (“myriad particles”). While some usage commentators criticize the noun use, it’s been firmly established in English since the 16th century, and in fact is about 200 years older than the adjective. Myriad comes from Greek myrias, which in turn comes from myrioi, meaning “countless” or “ten thousand.”
I love the word myriad. I use it frequently. I’ve always known it to mean a great number, a large number, or an uncountable number. Less than infinite but large enough that it might as well be infinite.
What I did not know was that it also meant a specific number, ten thousand to be exact. I found that interesting. So, the next time I have a need to use a word for ten thousand, I’ll be sure to use it.
Happy trails everyone. Thanks for reading.
Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all enjoy reading them.
Brought to you by Merrian-Webster, Word of the Day.