A brilliant, timely, and important story by a masterful storyteller

A Spark of Light

 

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books, October 2, 2018) is an amazing read. Not only does it reveal both sides of the abortion debate from the personal viewpoints of each of the main characters, it does so in an immediate life-and-death kind of way. Then the storyline begins to work backwards, hour by hour, to examine the choices that brought each of Picoult’s characters to this critical crossroads on the same day.

If only we were able to turn back the hands of time to choose over—to make vital decisions with the full knowledge of the consequences of our actions—would we make the same choices?

Do we ever really have a choice? Or do human beings only act out of necessity?

A Spark of Light tackles some heavy philosophical questions: When does viable life begin? Is it with the spark when sperm and egg meet? Is it at full-term birth? What are the responsibilities of parents? Of children? Of men to women? Of women to men? Of society to all children, whether born or unborn?

Of man to God? Of God to men and women? Of fathers to their offspring? Of women to their children? Of women to themselves?

A brilliant, timely, and important story by a masterful storyteller. Very highly recommended.

 

 

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The Birth of a Book

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After weeks of final revisions and consideration of comments and suggestions from beta readers and editors, I receive the page proofs of the typeset novel for one final review. I’m promised  ARCs shortly after the beginning of the new year, and then I can—at last–hold a printed copy of the book in my hands and feel, as well as see, the child of my imagination made flesh. I will sniff the paper and the ink, run my fingertips lovingly over the cover and interior pages, and cry real tears.

Birthing a book is a joyous occasion. The conception, as always, may be a labor of love; but the delivery is nothing but pure time-consuming painful labor.

Next comes the really hard part: introducing the child to the world and analyzing each ohh and ahhh or worrying when others don’t see the same beauty and potential in my offspring that I see each time I look.

Here are the vitals:

6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
340 pages

$14.95 for Trade Paperback; $3.95 for Kindle version

2AM Publications
ISBN-13: 978-0937491195
ISBN-10: 0937491195
BISAC: Fiction / Psychological

Megan Williams returns to Twin Rivers after five years in a mental hospital to take final revenge on the men who raped and mutilated her. But the tiny Illinois town has grown into a bustling Chicago suburb near the end of the Metra line, and Megan isn’t the only serial killer now leaving dead bodies littering the streets. Can Megan keep her sister safe and still exact her revenge? Or will Megan’s actions make Susan, Tim, and Elsie targets? The Girl Who Lived, the sequel to Spilled Milk, is a fast-paced psychological thriller unlike anything you’ve read before. Not for the faint-hearted or squeamish, this is the story of what happens when a girl who was brutalized and left for dead gets a second chance at life.

Her picture is at the top of this page. Isn’t she lovely?

I’ve named her “Megan’s Story.” Megan is The Girl Who Lived.

You’ll get a chance to meet her on March 2, 2017.

If I sound like a proud parent, it’s because I am. Although two major NY publishers asked to adopt her, I wouldn’t let them. I chose 2AM Publications to be Megan’s god-parent.

Until Megan is old enough and strong enough to survive in the world by herself, I prefer to keep her close to home. I know how cold and cruel the world can be.

If you read Megan’s story, you’ll meet unscrupulous people who’ll do anything for a thrill or to make a quick buck. You’ll see people cut into pieces and discarded like trash. You’ll witness seductions and murders and know what it’s like to be incarcerated in jail cells or mental institutions. You’ll feel a silenced automatic pressed against the back of your head and realize how horrible it is to feel hopeless and helpless.

But you’ll also discover love and, perhaps, even find redemption.

I know I shed a tear or two while reading Megan’s Story.  All of my beta readers claim they did, too.

When I wrote Spilled Milk, the prequel to The Girl Who Lived: Megan’s Story, I wrote it as an obituary. I wrote The Girl who Lived as a birth announcement.

Please welcome Megan to the world of the living.

And join me for her Christening on March 2, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Love and Life

 

Gretta M. Anderson, my wife and constant companion of nearly thirty years, died four years ago today.

Gretta and I were (and still are) soul mates. We shared a love of science fiction and fantasy that bordered on fan-atical. We went to conventions together, read literally every story and novel published in the sf, fantasy, and horror genres between 1979 and 1995, and read thousands of manuscripts for 2AM Magazine. Gretta was the editor and publisher of 2AM, and I was Irwin Chapman, 2AM’s book reviewer and editorial assistant. We were extremely happy. I wrote stories and novels of my own and many were published by mainstream publishers.

Then Gretta’s father and mother became ill and shortly thereafter Gretta’s mother died.

Gretta never completely recovered from a fall off a cliff while hiking and rock climbing as a teenager. She broke her back in multiple places. Although she underwent extensive surgery, she remained partially paralyzed and had to learn how to walk all over again.

After the multiple-year illness and eventual death of her mother, Gretta’s own health began to decline. I, too, developed a life-threatening illness in the mid-1990s. Gretta and I reluctantly left science fiction and fantasy to search for cures. We both went back to college and did extensive research. We shared much of what we learned by opening the enTrance Center and teaching regular classes.

With one foot in traditional medicine and the other in alternative treatments, we explored wellness. We helped many clients to heal, and our students continue that healing work today.

On January 31, 2012, Gretta died of a massive heart attack. I discovered her body when I awoke that morning.

I am angry that Gretta left me. I express that anger in some of my writing. I closed the enTrance Center a year after Gretta died, and I returned to reading and writing sf, fantasy, and horror. I imagine Gretta visits me in spirit as I craft new tales.

This year I revived 2AM Publications in Gretta’s honor.

During the course of one’s life, if one is lucky, one may learn to love many people and many things. I love my daughter, Tammy, and I love my three feline companions. I love the books and magazines that line the walls of my house. And I love the house itself.

I love Elizabeth Flygare differently than I love Gretta. Elizabeth is more traditional and literary mainstream than Gretta. Elizabeth complements my life in new ways.

Dare I say that I also love Teddie, my first wife and Tammy’s mother? Dare I say I love Susan, my second wife? Love never dies, and it IS possible to love more than one person. But love and relationships change over time, and though love continues, life forces us to move on.

I’ve made my share of mistakes in this life, but allowing myself to love is not one of them.

I love you, Gretta. I have always loved you, and I always will.