“The Harder Right” 2000.

Up until 2000, I was writing a melange of high fantasy or light sci fi, with “The Emperor’s Finest” being the odd hard sci fi/unrepentant space opera/romance man out.   Then, suddenly, out of the blue, there was another story, “The Harder Right”.   It is still my little black sheep, because it is the exception that proves the rule.  I write genre fiction.   Except, really, “The Harder Right” is truly mainstream fiction.   It is the story of Ryan Wallace, a backwoods girl too smart for her own good, determined to make a better life for herself by attending West Point.   Where it came from, I’m not sure.  It wrote itself well, and overall, it’s a good effort, but I’m just not sure what to do with it.   It’s hard enough to find markets for genre work, it becomes mind boggling to find a home for the mainstream.   But it has taught me that yes, I can write straight fiction, but it’s not really my forte.   And it also showed me that not all of my characters are created equal… while strong enough to hold down her own book, Ryan’s voice didn’t reverberate nearly as deeply as others.   She doesn’t come by and say hello, doesn’t hint at a return at a later date.   She is well and truly gone.  It’s sad, because to finish a book I have to develop a relationship, an obsession, and that obsession usually keeps a character in my heart, if not my thoughts, but not this one.

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