The novel The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead began to manifest in my life in 2006. It was a strange year for me in real life. It was the first year that I was neither married nor sharing my home with a lover as well as my child for the first year since before I had ever become pregnant in the first place. I was in my late 30s at the time. In other time line terms what happened is that I crossed the threshold of having spent most of my life as a child to having been an adult half of the time that I had been alive. That’s actually really different if only psychologically.
I had written a few drafts of a novel over a decade before, but “now” in 2006, I had managed to earn some pay writing and had even been paid to ghostwrite 3 nonfiction books. The pay was low but real and the projects were real. Two dating guides and a relocation manual. I may have even done one or two other ones by then, when I really think about it. A diversity in the workplace book – I only did like 20,000 words of that one, and an entire draft of a mutual funds investment book. I think I did the mutual funds book in 2006 or 2007 as my day job or the closest thing to a day job that I had and then I started looking around for fiction opps that might work.
Like so many artists I was hoping to be able to effectively market my own creative work.
Well, I found a publisher that had put out a call for submissions and for the first time in my life decided to try writing a novel to fulfill their specs but still use my own creativity. That made it a little more like ghostwriting, but like ghostwriting when the author just gives the title and a chapter outline to the ghostwriter and the rest is the ghost. The bad news is that the publisher I had hoped to please with the novel did not accept it. I edited the thing and checked it out and decided that it is a decent story, not bad at all, in my own estimation so I began to make more efforts to shop it around and get it another publisher.
Eventually, years and another edit or two later, 2 publishers showed interest but neither offered me a big fat advance. I tried one of them first but they did not do what they said – they said it was from money troubles and not that they were out to get me, so after having my ego bounced around and shame because I had advertised the novel’s release because a publisher had given me a contract on it, I managed to place it with another publisher.
Thanks to all of that, you can pre-order a copy today! http://sbpra.com/miriampia/
Those of you still with me, recall that yesterday we touched on Father O’Malley. By some miracle, or curse – you decide, a woman who’s first name is Talitha is another major character in the same story. Although I did name her after someone who I met in real life, they are not alike. As previously mentioned every fictional character I create either shows up whole or is created from combinations of at least 4 other people put together.
Talitha is a middle class woman who was taught to not do servants work at home – that is their job; how are they supposed to get paid or feel in control if you go and disrupt the system by doing their work? She was not from the lower middle class like clerics and school teachers and most managers that people from the lower income part of population – which is the majority of the population, are likely to meet. Somehow her parents had more.
When she grew up, all she wanted to do was stay or regain the same level as her parents had provided her with during her childhood. She tried a variety of methods, most of which are not disclosed during the novel. She found something that worked for her. Unfortunately, it was not legal. Unfortunately for the general public, but perhaps fortunately or unfortunately for Talitha, it did not bother her that it was illegal. Through that means, reminiscent of the dodgier (English slang for not necessarily legitimate) of the Cat Woman from the comic books, Talitha is somehow quite able to maintain her middle class lifestyle.
At some point in her life, which is also not disclosed during the novel, Talitha becomes an occultist. Most people aren’t and should not be for reasons that will not be explained. By the time the story starts, she has had over a decade of involvement with the mysterious occult. It is in fact, through this shared interest that she met another of the main characters long before the story of the novel ever took place.
Learn more, and get yours: http://sbpra.com/miriampia/
Like so many other days, I have not pre-planned what I am going to blog to those of you who actually read this. I spotted a new publication by Dellani Oakes on my way in here. I have seen Dellani online, in more than one place so I had some of that feeling one gets of seeing someone one knows.
The grammar on the he, she, he and she plural form but meaning an individual form having multiple possible forms is a little complicated, if only psychologically and politically.
Fiction characters: In The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead, one of the characters is a young Catholic priest. Zach O’Malley. One is even only ever described by his ‘online name’ Skilleas Fog. For some reason, the others are known by their normal names but his is never given. Whether or not it is the same is never explained. As for Tutweiler Buckhead, he’s a criminal mastermind who just thinks of himself as a manager.
For access to that story, sign up to receive a fine first edition hard cover print: http://sbpra.com/MiriamPia/
FYI: I lived in the city the story is based in for 10 years, 6 years of that before writing the novel. Urban crime fiction intended for a wide general adult audience, The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead has a touch of magic.
Tutweiler Buckhead did not think of himself as being any kind of villain. The only exception might be during a bad moment at work or during some emotional epiphany during a certain type of rock n roll tune. He thought of himself as a gentleman and as being a pretty nice man: a good guy. Mr. Buckhead worked in corporate America and in that respect he was a little bit ‘hard driving’ but not beyond what was normal in the social working realm he found himself in. He just worked in downtown Indianapolis, up on the 30th floor of an office building. After 15 years of hard and steady work he had an office with a window and a decent 401K. The salary was enough for him to drive a sports car, but if he wanted anything extreme he had to go to the Indy 500. He was doing well, or at least, he thought he was. He made a good manager: both men and women liked working with him. Women liked him and found him attractive – of course he was glad of that. You know how at work not everyone is very ‘open’? Professionally, being reserved is often more acceptable than it is at the bar, even for women. Tutweiler Buckhead knew he was a little reserved. What he didn’t know, was that he had habitiuated himself to being so reserved that it blended right into his leading a lifestyle which – by some standards was really ‘a double life’. He didn’t even know. He had rationalized it away for so many years that he sort of forgot all about it. He told lies to keep his secrets with the same attitude with which he tied his ties and ironed his shirts. It wasn’t quite true that he had nothing to hide. Everyone has rules they care about and ones that are meaningless. Tutweiler did not agree with legal policies about some of the drugs but he kept that to himself at work – of course. Tutweiler had grown into the role of being the one to supply a considerable number of people in Indianapolis with cocaine and meth amphetamine: just a stimulant man. He didn’t really think about much, except that he always protected himself from the law and from any prying eyes. It had really just helped him to grow as a man into feeling socially popular and a centerpiece of parties around the city. By day, at work it was a deep dark secret and at night it kept him popular and provided a second stream of income. Some of it just covered his own use. He felt that the trick about addictions is that: as long as the people don’t run out of it, there is no problem. He noticed that it was the same with legal things and how much people joked about being addicted to cars or to work or to their lovers. Tutweiler hid this of course, because there were people who thought he was a bad guy, ‘just because of that’, which was so true that the Sheriff was trying to find out who he was and how to stop him.