Ever wonder why I wrote LADY LAW? Well, had a fan asked that very thing the other day. Now, I usually don't give much thought as to why I write a story. I get an inspiration and just start writing. I suppose it's like I used to tell my acting students… "Every step you take trying to analyze the character or the story, takes you one step away from the character or the story."
You see, I'm what's called an Organic Actor, and that usually prompts the question, "What's organic acting?" There's no set definition, but, most commonly, it's a reference to a style that's characterized by literally allowing the 'Character' to own your equipment, that's your mind, body and voice. In other words, allowing the 'Character' to take over. The Character becomes You. Thus, you are acting simply as another person (that's "as" not "like"). This is called Organic because you are allowing the character to dictate your personality, style, movements, speech, etc. You're letting it come from your character through the use of the Backstory.
Now, Organic Writing is actually called being a Pantser. A Pantser doesn't write an outline, they just have a story in their head and start writing. Usually I know how a story is going to end…but not always. I have a starting point, but have no idea in hell how I'm going to get from point A to point B until I create the characters, using my acting procedure of writing a Backstory for each.
Once the characters are created, I let them take over and tell the story. I listen to their dialogue and just write down what they say. But, getting back to LADY LAW. Now I don't believe in racism or feminism or any of that other PC crap, I just write stories with interesting characters…To me, there's two types—Interesting and more Interesting. I don't give a damn if they're black, brown, yellow or polka dotted, male or female…it just doesn't matter to me. I look for uniqueness.
That's why I wrote about Bass Reeves. He was unique in all of United States western history and there had been precious few books written about him. In the process of doing research on Bass, I ran across a Deputy US Marshal F.M. Miller. The only female Deputy Marshal to work under Judge Isaac Parker in the Indian Nations in the 1890s…the same time as Bass Reeves. There was very little information on Miz Miller, except this quote from The Fort Smith Elevator, in its November 6, 1891, issue described "Mrs. Miller…(as) a dashing brunette of charming manners…" The same article went on to say Miller was "… an expert shot and a superb horsewoman, and brave to the verge of recklessness. It is said that she aspires to win a name equal to that of Belle Starr, differing from her by exerting herself to run down criminals and in the enforcement of the law." Not only 'Wow', but throw in a 'Good Golly' and a 'Holy Moly'. A ready made, very unique character that no one has written about. That was like turning someone like me loose into an ice cream store with unlimited access.
Since nowhere in any newspaper account could I find anything other than her initials, F.M., I used my literary license as a historical fiction writer and named her…Fiona Mae. The basics of her personality was already there, via the newspapers…a dashing brunette (given the time period of 1890, that meant very attractive) of charming manners (well spoken or educated), expert shot and superb horsewoman (self explanatory) and the best of all…'brave to the point of recklessness'. Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh boy.
I first wrote her into "Bass and the Lady"…"It doesn't matter whether I stand or squat to pee…I'm wearing a Deputy United States Marshal's badge…and that trumps just about everything else I know…" Can she go toe to toe with the invincible legendary Bass Reeves? Can Bass keep up with the indomitable Fiona May Miller? Do the outlaws stand a chance against the two of them?
That story worked so well, I did what we call in the TV bidness, I created a 'SPIN OFF'. Fiona Mae Miller has her own sub series in The Nations, starting with LADY LAW.
She and her new partner, Brushy Bill Roberts (Yes, in reality, Billy the Kid after he faked his death at the hands of Pat Garrett in 1881) are on a mission to bring a Cherokee renegade, Cal Mankiller, (the killer of her husband) to justice. She follows his trail of blood to the rugged and mysterious Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma Territory.
Will she finally see justice served? Will she welcome Mankiller to his first day in hell? Find out in LADY LAW.
The response to Fiona Mae Miller was so amazing, I started writing the sequel to LADY LAW…BLUE WATER WOMAN. In LADY LAW, she and Brushy Bill had learned of a missing burro train of gold ingots that, in route to Mexico City by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s, was believed to have been stolen by the mound building Caddo Indians in Tejas (Texas for those of you that don't know).
Fiona Mae and her partner, Deputy US Marshal Brushy Bill Roberts go on a suspense filled encounter peppered with old west Indian mysticism, shapeshifters and outlaws on the scout in BLUE WATER WOMAN.
In a country and lifestyle normally reserved for men, Fiona Mae Miller is a special breed of woman. She's lightning fast, an expert shot…with either hand…can ride anything with hair on it and doesn't tolerate injustice or rudeness anywhere or from anyone. Some even went so far as to call her a female Bass Reeves…She doesn't backwater for any man…Who is she after now? Who is the Blue Water Woman?
BLUE WATER WOMAN coming in the fall of 2016.