Have you ever worked on a story and gotten into a process or procedure that your character is partaking in and realized, I don’t know jack-diddly about that. I found myself in that predicament while working on my most recent short story, Monster in the Woods.
In this story, the main character, Graham Sawyer, is an atypical seventeen year old. He has goals to become a survivalist and appear on one of the multiple reality shows that are so popular these days. Graham is not a fan of guns, although he was trained by his boss, Neal, an ex-marine, on how to use one. Instead he enjoys doing things that are more challenging. Neal also taught him how to shoot a bow, fish without fishing line, discover what he can eat in the wild, how to obtain safe drinking water…you get the idea.
What Graham runs into in this story is a different kind of predator, and that’s all I have to say about that. You will need to read it to see. BUT what I had no clue about, other than rapt attention paid to the Hunger Games movies, was how to shoot a bow. So, I googled it. Not enough information. I needed to get hands on.
One afternoon I dragged my son to a local archery shop in Tampa. I found a very nice helpful young woman who had been shooting for over seven years. She took the time to explain the differences in types of bows, the arrows, and we even spoke about the process. But that still didn’t give me all I needed to know. Yep, you guessed it. I registered for a class. In the photo below is my target. I think I like this sport.
Other than the fact that I used muscles I didn’t even know I had, it was a fun evening and I’ve got plans to return. I’ll hang out with the novices for a while. Believe me, a trip to the regular range informed me on how much I really had to learn. Those men and women were amazing.
I did, however, gain enough hands on knowledge in order the make my character believable. Or if I didn’t, you can be sure to tell me so.
A Monster in the Woods releases in October 2017 as part of a thriller anthology. Be on the look out for more information. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover and blurb.
Seventeen year old Graham Sawyer finds solace in the woods of the Appalachian Mountains. Left alone for far too many nights by a mother who has more interest in a bottle of booze and her current boyfriend of the month, Graham fancies himself the next great survivalist. He could even show the local hunting guides a trick or two.
Gifted with a brilliant sense of direction and an uncanny ability to communicate with the energy of animals around him, there isn’t much he fears. What he can’t handle with his wits, he trusts to his bow and arrows. When he finds the abandoned hunting cabin, nothing could prepare him for what’s inside. Entering to find shelter from a wicked summer lightning storm, he finds the woman, staked to the floor, battered and bloody. His first instinct is to back out the way he came, forgetting he ever found the place, then he makes eye contact.
For days, maybe weeks, she’d lost track of time, Ann prayed for escape from her living nightmare. When the young man burst through the cabin door, dripping wet, wearing a bow and a quiver of arrows, she thought him a vision in her own mind. A savior she’d conjured to save her from the monster in the woods. Unable to speak from the multiple fractures in her face, she focuses on his gaze, pleading for assistance.
Graham decides to help, all the while dealing with the anger at her inhumane treatment. Their struggling to escape, but he’s faced with her injuries the storm and the returning captor. When Graham discovers this monster’s identity, the tables suddenly turn, heightening Graham’s survival instinct. He cannot allow this man to survive. The hunted becomes the hunter. Who’s the monster now?
I’m excited to be a part of this upcoming anthology. Stay tuned for updates. Not a part of my mailing list? Visit the About Page to sign up and get a free read for your trouble.