Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Never Know

My sister Susan passed on Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace to a friend who is a therapist by training. She (I’ll call her Jane) loved the book but also commented on the dead-on accuracy of Pamela’s sociopath character in her pursuit of the Pierson family.

Jane also imparted a chilling observation – therapists don’t actually see the Pamela’s of this world as they don’t ever believe there anything about them that might be problematic. Who they do see as patients are the persons dealing with the constant fallout from a Pamela. Just as in the book, a Pamela is never at fault, is often a master manipulator, and will not stop until she wears down the opposition. Jane has the clients to prove it.

Like many authors, I wrote what I knew. Readers have come along for the journey for which I am grateful. Some of the details are not pretty, particularly the Pierson family’s battles with alcoholism and drug abuse – the toughest part of the novel for Jane to read. But to hear from a trained professional that the characters, their flaws, and their struggles came alive for her is a great compliment. Honestly you never know who will be reading your book or what new insights you’ll learn from a reader.

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