Welcome Linda! I'm so glad you could stop by today to share a little about your story The Other Side of Darkness.
I just loved the story, but I've got to ask, where did the idea come from? And are you familiar with the area you used as a setting?
I have always been intrigued by the Southern Adirondacks and their role in American History. The area is beautiful with rolling hills and an abundance of scenic lakes. One day my father and I were driving down a road and he went searching for a little fishing hole he'd spotted once while hunting. We didn't find it but he said it was the purest water he'd ever seen. That's where the idea of Mirror Lake came into being. I also fashioned much of Malone's (my home town) history into Haven's history. The basic plot evolved when I wondered what it might take for a prosecuting attorney to do a one-eight in her life. The area is rich in wildlife. I needed something more than a deer. A friend of mine had mentioned that if you hit a moose and lived to tell about it, you were very lucky.
How much plotting did you have to do?
I'm more of a panster type of writer. I've found that too much plotting restricts me. I told one workshop leader that I'm so rebellious by nature I rebel against myself. But I do have a skeleton plot idea that I follow. I know the key points in the story. That way I don't wander away from the basic premise.
Wow, great job! I can't imagine writing suspense without plotting it out!
And your knowledge of the way the legal system works - any insider information that helped you keep it realistic?"
I do have above average knowledge of legal aspects due to my experiences as a family caseworker, particularly child protective services. My husband served as a casework supervisor for several years in Child Protective Services as well. I do have acquaintances who are lawyers are they were helpful in helping me understand the rule of perpetuity. I did extensive research into what might constitute prejudice on the part of a prosecutor, and gender was a significant factor. I also did major research on house arrest programs in NYS and found cases of murder convictions that were placed under house arrest. Some of the legal matters addressed in the book actually happened. When turning state witness, prosecutors have a lot of leeway.
Very well done! Let's share a bit, shall we?
After setting out on a forced vacation, and literally running into a moose, Manhattan Assistant D.A. Samantha Knowles finds it’s not so bad being stranded in a quirky but intriguing Adirondack town. But when her three-year prosecution against convicted killer, Harlan Styles begins to unravel, she’s thrust into a whirlwind of haunting memories, fear, and danger. And suddenly, Haven isn’t so safe, after all.
With no future in Haven, and no way to escape the small town, teacher Zack Bordeaux fears he’s doomed to a life of mediocrity.
Haunted by the deaths of his wife and son, landscape artist Jonathan Gladstone feels bound to an estate he both loves and loathes. But when Zack and Jonathon meet Samantha, their lives take on a different course.
Three lives intertwined, tied together by dangerous circumstance and the faint echoes of an elusive hope. To make it through, each must find their way to the Light that’s found only on the other side of darkness.
And here's an excerpt:
“Abe has arranged for you to take a three week vacation—his orders…his treat…his itinerary.”
“You have got to be kidding. Not now—not when Styles has filed another appeal.”
“Abe’s worried about you, and he thought maybe you’d listen to me better than you listen to him. You haven’t slept in weeks.”
True enough…sleep was a rare luxury over the past three years. Might as well let Justine think Sam’s sleeplessness had been caused by case worries. If Justine knew about the nightmares, she’d tell Abe, and he’d drag a shrink into the whole mess.
Justine leaned in like a period at the end of the sentence. “Besides, you know how slow Justice is. Chances are nothing will happen for months.”
“Yeah. Slow, all right…in Kiley Smith’s case it crawls. She would have been five years old today.” Rest in peace little girl.
“Abe thinks you’ve become obsessed, and frankly, I agree. You need to take a break.”
Justine glowered, and when she glowered, it meant only one thing—the fat lady had sung her last aria.
“Fine. I can’t fight both you and Abe. So where am I going?”
“Vermont. It’s all arranged.”
Vermont? The other ADAs described the state like a wilderness ready to be discovered. Not for Sam. Vermont meant nature, and the closest to nature she ever got was a walk in Central Park to mull over her latest strategy against Styles’s petitions. “What am I supposed to do in Vermont?”
“Ski. Your instructor will be Alonzo Altamont. Handsome and available, I expect.”
“With my luck, gay or married. Besides, I don’t have time for romance. I’d prefer to catch up on my reading.”
“Read or ski. Whatever.”
Skiing…not a chance, not even if Mr. America waited for her at the end of the trail. “What if I refuse?”
Abe wasn’t God, he was only her boss. “What does that mean?”
“It means you either go on this vacation, or Abe’s writing you up for insubordination. He thinks you need perspective. You could pack your whole wardrobe in those bags under your eyes.”
5 Star Review
What a marvelous job Ms. Rondeau does of keeping the reader on the edge of the seat all the way through the story.
With a touch of humor, a jolt of suspense, and confusing attraction all jumbled together, she leads you through quite a winding tale. I honestly wasn’t sure how it would all end—and I really love it when that happens!
From her untimely meeting with a moose, Assistant District Atty. Samantha Knowles weaves her way down an unmarked path leading her to a life she never expected, and certainly never planned. And although choices are taken out of her hands, it’s quite obvious that God’s hand is guiding her all the way.
The rest of the cast of characters is a wonderful mix of people, too. I certainly hope you get to meet them.
LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor.
The Other Side of Darkness Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Me_jOBFVM
You can find her at: http://www.lindarondeau.com of scenic lakes. One day my father and I were searching for a little fishing hole he