Book: Painted Tree - Two Novellas by Judith Victoria Douglascategories: Book, Historial, Crime, Vengeance, WWII, Psychological Trauma, Coping With Loss
Judith Victoria Douglasabout this book: The stories are about a Louisiana family experiencing tragedy over a span of years, even through generations, to its resolution. It begins as an opportunistic crime by a disturbed cousin, beginning a domino effect of events causing the family grief. When the victim turns inward, suffering mental and physical consequences of a brutal attack, it stirs vengeance in the minds of some family members. But even in its apparent relief there is no satisfaction. And the victim's recovery is frightening but hopeful.
Inspiration comes from a source inside that can't be touched and is unknown. The victim's story poured from me in this way, and the circumstance of the crime begged to be told separately. Between the writing "Sparkle" and that of "Blood" there was a four year difference.
Any one who enjoys stories during this time period, when American society was more homogenized, and standards were not questions, will enjoy seeing the events through the eyes of those living the period in our country. There are no high tech forensics, but the insight of those involved.
The title, If I Could Only Sparkle came in a moment as such things can. It fit the story so well I used it incorporated the idea into the story. The working title was "When the Cat Came Home." It was a little to corny for me, but got the story started. That hardest part to write was the scene of Woody watching his cousin die, then his own outcome. It's difficult to have a good person do bad things and suffer from it, but that was the point of the story, as well as showing how one act can affect so many for so long. When I put the stories together I knew there could only be one encompassing title and one picture for the cover. I have trees on my place marked by oil field workers in that period of the story. I named my place Painted Tree Farm for those pained trees. Most are gold or several colors, but I felt the red marking was appropriate for the story. I marked over one of the gold spots on one of my trees by the creek and took the cover picture. The cover design was one of the templates I could change to fit with the way I wanted to present that photograph.
I hope readers who enjoy the story to read others of my books, but know that most of what I have spent years putting together are very different from this one. I do have another historical story started, set in 1891, but very different in it's turn of the century makeup. It will also include some of what is termed fantasy, as most of my other stories do. In learning to write well, I've taken years, a lot of negative and helpful feedback and learned what it is a reader needs to know in the beginning without spoiling the outcome. I hope you feel deeply, are sometimes surprised, and end feeling satisfied.
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
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