Love You Madly

Knit and count.

Maybe someday we'll be together again.

Knit and count.

Last week during an interview about my new release Circle of Trust, I was asked about Jane Light, one of the characters from my book. She seems to have captured readers’ attention both for her sympathetic narrative, as well as, her complex psychological make-up.

Knit and count.

Jane Light is Jacob Temple’s (the murder victim’s) ex-girlfriend. Although their relationship ended nineteen years ago, she continues to remain obsessed with him, oft times taking risks and leaps to stalk him. Wanting to feel close to him and keep their relationship alive, she organizes her entire life around Jacob, a man who has left her for another woman. She is unable to let go. In her mind, letting go feels like an emotional death. If she stops loving him, she ceases to exist in some way.

Maybe someday we'll be together again.

Knit and count.

His murder is the catalyst for her already compromised emotional state to slowly deteriorate. If she actually murdered the man she loved or not is a question that will remain unanswered until the very end. But, the characterization gives an intimate look into the mind of a woman who feels she has lost everything. As one reviewer, commenting about Jane Light, wrote, “Love appears to have brought her to the brink of madness.”

Jane loses the only man she ever loved when Jacob leaves her. What had kept her going over the nineteen year separation was imagining that someday they would be reunited. She believed that their love was still very alive and that the relationship would come full circle. When Jacob is brutally murdered this reunion is no longer possible.

Jane knits and counts to try to maintain her sanity. Knit and count. Knit and count. This stabilizes her long enough for her to share Jacob and her story with readers – a love story with a lot of tangles.

What makes Jane’s story so compelling and relatable? I’m guessing it has to do with the fact that most of us have loved and lost. Even though most people let go and move on, there is sympathy for people who, for various reasons, are unable to do so.

One thing is certain: Love can drive people to madness. This madness can take various different forms. In my series, I’m exploring different ways love morphs into stalking, delusion thinking, and even murder. But there are many other possibilities. Jane Light’s character gives us insight into the mind of a person compromised by a love so powerful, it consumes her. For Jane, pleasure and pain become emotionally synonymous.

There are twists in Jane’s story arc that even surprised me as her narrative evolved. Since Jacob is only heard through flashbacks and notes from his journal in Circle of Trust, I wrote a novella, a prequel, which is his voice, his story. It begins six months before his murder, and goes back and forth in time between 1996, when Jane and he first met, and the present when she is calling into his radio show. (This novella, Jacob’s Story, will be out before the end of the year. I will be giving away free copies. So stay tuned).

As Jacob’s side of the love story unfolded, I was surprised and heartbroken. But I also realized that sometimes love, especially lost love, devastates us, and sometimes it saves us. Perhaps there is nothing as powerful as love – for better or worse. This makes writing stories with love triangles thrilling. Once love is placed into the hearts of our characters, anything can happen. And through their machinations we each (readers and writers, alike), learn something about ourselves.

In all truth there is paradox. Meaning, for every magical, expansive, beautiful moment of love, the dark side – passion gone wrong, lurks as a possibility.

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing every moment of emotional abandon with Jane and Jacob, even when the storyline led to heartbreak and loss. Even with the devastation, I found hope. I was reminded that we only lose because we have first loved. And when we can love there is always hope.   

But, the dark side of love shows itself in the series, too. A killer is on the loose and gaining momentum. As transformative as love can be on the positive side, the paradox is always there: love can turn deadly, transforming someone into a murderer, too. In this case, a killer with a burning vengeance, a character so harrowing, she scared the shit out of me while I was writing.

And speaking of love… I am now working on a novella about Noah Donovan, the murder victim in Circle of Betrayal, book one of the series. This will be the inner dialogue of a man involved in a deadly love triangle, whose mother makes Norma Bates seem benign. Maybe it should really be considered a love square, in that case.

 

*This series of novellas that I am writing will all be spinoffs from characters in the Close Enough to Kill series, a variation of a television series in book form. I will be running giveaways periodically. Stay tuned for ways to win free copies of Jacob’s Story, the first of these novellas. I will also be giving away copies of the third book, Circle of Truth, prior to the release. I will announce the release date once it’s set.    

I always like to hear from readers. In fact, I decided to write the novella about Noah Donovan after quite a few readers wrote to me and asked to know more about him, his inner thoughts, and his relationship with his mother, Belle. Please always feel free to write to me with comments and/or questions.  

More soon!