In writing books, you always hear, "Write the story of your heart," which for many authors ends up being their first book.
Well, for me it wasn't the first book. It's my 3rd release -- Trouble Under Venus -- the story of a young woman who joins an experimental time travel program so she can journey back and find out what happened to her Missing Person father. In some ways, this story was tough for me to write, because parts of it mirror my own life. My father has been missing since I was about 4 years old. He kept some questionable company, so it's likely he came to a bad end. But as a romantic at heart, I've always fantasized he turned state's evidence and went into Witness Protection, in order to disappear so completely. Writing the story was somewhat cathartic, but I'll be honest. Every stage of revising and edits, I cried at the same place. So for me, this is the story of my heart, the one that really touches me most.
Not everybody understands why Randi (the heroine) is going to such extremes to find her father, but here's an excerpt where she explains herself while on a hiking trip in Grand Canyon with her nosy fellow student:
“Science, hmm?" Mitch said. "More like science fiction. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if this is really going to work. Maybe Sudo's messing with our heads to see how long we’ll put up with it. Maybe that’s the real science he’s working on.”
“God. Now you sound like my mother.”
If he’d been a dog, his ears would’ve been pointing straight up. “She doesn’t believe it’ll
I sighed and heaved my pack up to my shoulders. “I’d rather not discuss it today. Suffice it
to say, she has her personal fears about me going looking for my biological father. So she projects
those fears into doubt about the time-travel process.”
Mitch fell into step beside me again. “Why do you want to find your father so much?”
“He’s the unknown. Well, not him so much, but what happened to him. His fate is the ‘x’
in the equation of my life.”
“The ‘ex’? I thought his name was David.”
“No, the ‘x’, as in algebra. X plus seven equals ten.”
“X equals three,” he supplied.
“Why’d you solve it?” His brows were drawn, and he looked at me like I was crazy. “Isn’t
it enough to know x plus seven equals ten? Why’d you have to solve the problem and tell me the
value of x?”
“I don’t know. Because it’s there. Because we were taught for years if there’s an unknown
variable, to solve for it.”
“Exactly. So why should I do less when it concerns my own father?”
“Still. You’re willing to risk your life to solve it?”
“Risks are relative, Goodman. I seriously doubt I’ll die. The worst that might happen is I
end up in the wrong year, or can’t get back.”
“And what will you do then? If you’re in the wrong year, you still won’t figure out where
your father is.”
“I’ll have to deal with it, then. Or go back to Sedona and do the tele-time-transport thing all
over again. Again and again, ’til I end up in 1980.”
“You’re telling me, if you end up in the wrong year, you’ll keep trying to get to 1980 rather
than back to your own time?”
“Time is relative too,” I joked. “But seriously, I came here for one reason—to find out where
my father went. It’s my mission.” We climbed along in silence. Disapproving silence, if I was to
guess. Mitch was taking the same risks, but he seemed to think my cause was not worthwhile.
Double standards! “What’s your mission, Goodman? Or, Wheels? That’s what they call you back
at the Bureau, or the precinct, or wherever you came from. Why do they call you that? What are
you really traveling back to 1980 for?”
“So many questions, Ms. Drew.”
“Oh, so, what? You get to ask me anything, but I can’t ask you?”
“You can ask. Doesn’t mean I’m going to answer.”
Trouble Under Venus releases in ebook today, and print this April.