The Plain welcomes Gail Roughton, a bona fide southern belle from Georgia, USA. For more than twenty years, Gail has been writing stories that showcase her Deep South heritage. Today she's treating us with a delightful post about why a story's "Core of Truth" is important to readers and writers alike. Then Gail gives us an added treat, an excerpt from one of her new releases, The Witch, Book One in her War-N-Wit, Inc. series.
* * * * *Core of Truth…
Which stories grab you? For me, it’s the ones I believe, even though I know they’re not true. Or not mostly true. Because for me (and I believe for most writers), there’s always a core of truth somewhere, some past event, some past conversation, something that really happened – that triggered the entire book. And that core of truth – that’s what pulls readers into a story and makes the most unbelievable things believable. That puts a reader there. That makes them believe.
The initial setting for my March 12 release, The Witch (the first in the War-N-Wit, Inc. series) is a law office. My heroine is a paralegal. Guess where I’ve lived for the past 38 years? Oh, yeah. In a law office. Working as a paralegal. Not a paralegal who has a degree from any accredited college, either. Mine’s from the School of Blood, Sweat and Tears. In that career, I’ve met many fantastic people. I’ve heard true stories nobody would believe.
So far, I’ve been overwhelmed with the reception that War-N-Wit, Inc. – The Witch has received. And I think the fact that I know whereof I write when I set the book up has a lot to do with. I think readers know – "Now there’s a woman who’s been there, done that!" That believability is the key that grabs a reader and pulls them into the story, that makes them read up to the point where unbelievable things begin to happen. And to believe them.
My heroine Ariel Anson is just sitting there doing her job in her usual exemplary manner. Who knew that just minding your own business can get you in so much trouble? Everybody knows that! Because hasn’t that happened to you? Although I have to admit – Ariel takes it to the next level. Then again, when Chad Garrett’s on the other end of the phone conversation, the next level’s just around the corner! It all happened something like this…
Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order. She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part. She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA. You just can’t get any steadier than that. Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett. What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway? Warlock and Witch? For real? Oh, yes! For real. And that’s not even scratching the surface! Her life as she knows it is over! Especially when Chad talks Ariel into actually meeting him!
When the waitress asked if we wanted booth or table, I automatically said booth. I needed that table between us. That didn't work out so well, though, as he slid in right next to me.
"Too close?" he asked.
"No," I lied. Worlds too close. To the waitress, I said "Small guacamole salad and a chili rellano, please. And tea."
He perused the menu briefly and flipped it shut. "Two chicken burritos, please. Unsweetened tea." And under the table, he rested his hand on my knee. An electric bolt of heat shot through me. I knew I should pull my thigh back over. Instead I felt it lean towards him.
I turned to the bowls of salsa and chips as though seeking sanctuary from a church altar. The first bite reminded me with a jolt that even though I loved Rosita's food, her salsa wasn't my favorite as it was made thin and, to my tastes, exceedingly hot. And our tea wasn't even on the table yet. And today, I wasn't even going to love the food because I was going to have a hell of a hard time eating anything. I glanced around. Nobody here that knew me. The attorneys ate at Rosita's occasionally, but almost always on a Friday when they made it a tradition to eat what they termed "funky". And nobody from Scott's accounting firm ever came in here, which had figured highly in the choice of meeting spot.
"Safe?" he asked, amusement in his voice. "Nobody here to run tattling back to the fiancé?" I'd forgotten he had a Floridian non-accent rather than a southern accent.
"So it appears," I said, leaning back. "Good drive up?"
"After I ran out of the rain. Wanta loosen up a little bit before you break?"
"I don't know if I can. And I don't even know what to say or talk about or—"
"Well, you've been just overflowing with questions in the emails lately."
The waitress deposited the plates with the usual warning they were hot, and I picked up my fork, promptly burning the hell out of my mouth on the first bite of rellano. To hell with this. Yes, I'd been overflowing with questions. Questions mostly unanswered.
"Yes, I have, haven't I, and you've studiously avoided answering most of them, too." I turned to face him, but instead of any of my prior questions, I had a new one. "Half-witch, half-bitch?"
He laughed. "For the moment."
"For the moment?"
"Until you figure it out. I'd thought there was no way you didn't know. Or at least have some glimmer of an idea."
"That you're a witch. One of the most powerful ones I've ever run across. And nobody with that much power could possibly not know. At least a little bit. Guess I thought wrong on that one."
Okay, I was in the Twilight Zone.
* * * * *
The Witch (War-N-Wit, Inc.) / Available from
Gail’s Amazon Author Page
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