My First and Only Sort-of Political Post

I’m smiling today, not in celebration of a Trump victory or a Clinton loss, but because, well . . . because it’s a new day. The sun is shining, I have nothing to do but write, and history has been made.

This 2016 political campaign was set up to be an historical election from the beginning — the total political insider vs. the total outsider. Not racists and misogynists vs. liberals. Not good vs. bad (because all voters did the best they could with a bizarre candidacy). Not urban vs. rural, though that’s the way it turned out to be. Not rich politician vs. poor politician because both runners had more money at their disposal than most cities do. Not hate vs. . . . well, not love, that’s for sure because from what I could see, Hillary lovers/Donald haters have nothing but hate — or at least contempt — for the folk who elected him. It wasn’t even intelligence vs. ignorance, because a huge portion of The Donald voters approached the election with intelligence while many of the Hillary folk came from a position of ignorance with no clue why people would vote for such a buffoon.

Hillary was slated to be the first woman president. What we got instead was the first non-politician/non war hero president. History.

Though it seems like this was a male vs. female race, it was all about the insider vs. the outsider. The Clintons did not spring up out of the pack, being chosen by “we the people” for their stellar qualities. They were chosen in college and have been groomed for their leadership positions their entire lives because of their charisma and their ability to talk a whole bunch of people into doing what the power elite want. (Ever wonder what all those standardized tests were for? Well, now you know one reason — to give the power elite a clear vision of who we are and how they can use us.)

[As an aside: Nixon was found and groomed by Prescott Bush, the daddy of the first Bush president, after Nixon answered a classified ad. Remember when Nixon said “they” wouldn’t have him to push around any more? It wasn’t you and me he was talking to. It was his handlers. The power elite.]

Yep. The power elite. Do you really think a president has all that much power? Take comfort in knowing that while the US president is powerful, there are other forces, such as the puppetmasters, that are way more powerful. These international power brokers don’t care who wins because they win either way.

(You didn’t know I was of a conspiratorial bent? That I am against government of all kinds? That while I know of the power elite, there is no way I approve of such a shadow force? Then you haven’t read my books. In More Deaths Than One, I tell of the mind control experiments the government has perpetrated on unsuspecting citizens. In A Spark of Heavenly Fire, I talk about biological warfare, again, some of which was done on US citizens. In Light Bringer, I pull from Sumerian cosmology by way of Zecharia Sitchen showing the possibility that this movement toward a one-world government is more than 7,000 years old; also William Bramley, author of The Gods of Eden had some influence on my novel.)

Have you ever wondered why Donald chose to run? Did he wake up one morning and think, “Geez, I think I’ll run for president”? I do. I wonder who contacted him. Or who he contacted.

The Electoral College was set up to keep out those not qualified to be president because it was believed that the people weren’t intelligent enough to vote for the right candidate. (Also to give the states themselves a voice because after all, we are a nation of states. If it weren’t for the states’ rights, we’d have a couple of urban areas control of the entire country.) I figured that if Donald got the majority vote, the Electoral College would give it to Hillary, and they still might. The Electoral College, which votes on December 19, does not have to follow the votes for their state — they can vote for whomever they wish.

December 19 is the real election, the one that will determine who is president.

Hillary got the popular vote, but Donald won the electoral votes, so it’s vaguely possible she will still get the presidency if enough republicans decide to protest Donald’s election. If Donald’s election is upheld, it will make me wonder why he was chosen, by whom he was chosen, and ultimately, for whom he will be working. (Have you ever wondered why so many new presidents age rapidly their first year in office? They find out the truth. Some say that’s why JFK was assassinated — he was insistent on being a real president, not just another figurehead.)

Although I am basically apolitical, I am aware that historically more good is done when a Republican is president, not because of him (or, one day, her) but because when a Republican is president, a whole slew of sleeping grass roots organizations come out of hibernation and provide a foil for his policies. When a democrat is president, these organizations go to sleep because they think all is well with the world. Is it any wonder that all of the major U.S. wars in the 20th century—World War I, II, Korea and Vietnam—were entered by Democratic administrations? Harry Truman, a Democrat, is still the only world leader to use a nuclear bomb on a population. So, something to think about. Donald being president for “all the people” as he claimed might actually come true, because one way or another, whether for him or against him, people will work for the greater good. (I already see signs of those grass roots growing. Lists of pro-women, pro-lgbt, pro-abortion, pro-imigrant and anti-bigotry organizations are being shared on FB.) And, power elite or not, true power — the power of numbers — is in our hands if we work together.

Campaign rhetoric is just that — rhetoric meant to get the votes. Nothing new there. If you were to read Lincoln’s campaign speeches, you’d see that sometimes he said he’d abolish slavery, sometimes he said he wouldn’t, depending on the beliefs of people he was talking to. The truth will out in the coming years, but I do not think this election has set us back a hundred years. It’s always about today, this very moment, and today is the same as yesterday. All else is speculation.

I have removed a whole slew of FB friends not because of their political beliefs but because of their nastiness. Cripes, get a grip, folks. I realize a lot of people are angry, many are scared (including some who voted for Donald), others are grieving. But this win isn’t the end of the country. The president, whoever it might be, isn’t the United States. The USA is you and me, our neighbors and friends, our church members, classmates, and fellow workers.

I hear democrats screaming about the idiots who voted for racism and misogyny, but those histrionics are just that. Histrionics. Although I know a lot of people who voted for Donald, not one of those friends voted for racism or misogyny. These people (with misgivings for the man they voted for) generally voted against something — against late term abortion, against the status quo, against illegal immigration (because, duh, it’s illegal), against the New World Order, against Hillary herself. A few people I know were gung-ho Trump supporters, but they came to their position with a wide view of the world. Still, whatever the reasoning behind the votes, these people are United States citizens. The neo-liberals are not the only people in the country. This nation is made up of all kinds, and all deserve a voice.

So please, stop the nastiness. Be kind. This is a new day. The sun is shining — or not. And we are alive.

Peace to all. And to all, a good day.

Light Bringer

***

(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”) Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Promoting LIGHT BRINGER

Light BringerWhen I mentioned to a friend that I promote my publisher and pretty much any author who asks me to, she asked why I didn’t promote myself.

To be honest, I thought I was promoting myself in a minimalist, non-spammy sort of way, writing blogs and keeping up with people on Facebook, but apparently, I’m not doing a very good job of promoting. My books are fading into obscurity, and this blog, too, is sliding down in the ranks.

Right before he died, Jeff told me that since I had written such good books, it was my responsibility to see that they sold. I’m glad I don’t have to admit how dismally I am doing, especially with Light Bringer. Light Bringer was published as a memorial to him on the first anniversary of his death. Although it had been written while he was still alive, it was the only novel I wrote that he didn’t get to read, so I’d like others to read it in his place.

The problem I have with promoting this book is that anything I could say to attract the right readers would also give away a major part of the plot. It begins ordinarily enough with strange lights in the sky, a way too precocious baby, NSA agents coming to the door of a man’s apartment, the man being rescued by an invisible owl-like creature and miraculously finding himself in the same town where a youngish woman is searching for the mystery surrounding her birth. (Those sort of things do happen to you every day, don’t they?)

It ends with the two protagonists, a bevy of antagonists, a ghost cat, the invisible owl man, and a whole slew of conspiracy theorists all clashing in a resounding riot of color in a secret laboratory far underground in Western Colorado. Whew! I didn’t give anything away, but I didn’t exactly get this into a one-sentence response to what Light Bringer is about.

If I tell people this is my magnum opus, they shy away, but the truth is, I spent my whole life doing research for this book, though of course, I didn’t know the research would culminate in a such a story. I just went where the research took me.

And worst of all, there is no true genre for this novel. The mention of crashed space ships and aliens make this seem like a science fiction book, but oddly, the book was never meant to be anything other than a way of putting together the puzzle of our origins, relying heavily on Sumerian cosmology and modern conspiracy myths.

In “Light Conquers All,” a guest post I did for Malcolm R. Campbell, author of Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire, The Sun Singer (which, with any luck will be republished during this millennium), and the proud owner of even more blogs than I have, I talked about the plot demanding “extensive information about mythology, conspiracies, UFOs, history, cosmologies, forgotten technologies, ancient monuments, and color. Especially color. Color is the thread connecting all the story elements, and all the colors have a special meaning. (You can find a brief listing of color meanings here: The Meaning of Color.)”

Try distilling that into a single (short!) sentence!

Click here to read an Excerpt from LIGHT BRINGER

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Excerpt from LIGHT BRINGER

Description of Light Bringer by Pat Bertram :

LBBecka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? What do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area? And how does Jane fit into the puzzle?

Excerpt from Light Bringer:

Realizing Mac was waiting for her reaction, Jane said in a noncommittal voice, “You saw a UFO.”

Mac winced. “UFO? No. An FO. There was nothing unidentified about it. I knew exactly what I saw.”

“An extraterrestrial space ship,” she said flatly.

“Of course not, and aliens didn’t abduct me, either. It happened right after I closed on this property. Unable to sleep, I drove out here and was leaning against my rental car looking at the stars when the crescent flew directly overhead. I could see it as plainly as I’m seeing you right now.

“The craft was about fifteen feet in diameter, made of a composite ceramic. A remarkably conductive amalgam of the most refined copper and the purest silver coated its underside, turning it into an electrical circuit offering no resistance to the wave of electromagnetic energy it floated on. It was absolutely silent, sweeping in ions from its flight path, like a whale feeding on plankton. The ionized air around it glowed, giving it an unearthly look, but it was very much terrestrial in origin.”

Jane lifted her hands and let them drop. “How could you learn all that from one brief sighting?”

“I was part of a team working on a craft exactly like it, only we hadn’t been able to get ours off the ground, at least not then.”

She regarded him warily.

“I’m not insane,” he said, answering her unvoiced question. “I’m an aerospace engineer, retired from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.”

It took a minute or two for the significance of his story to register. “I see. You think Stellar Optics was a cover for a space telescope project, which was a cover for the real project—the development of a flying saucer.”

He didn’t respond, but he didn’t contradict her, either.

***

Where to buy Light Bringer:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble Nook

iStore (on iTunes)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo)

Excerpt from LIGHT BRINGER by Pat Bertram

Description of Light Bringer:

LBBecka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

Excerpt from Light Bringer:

As Special Assistant to the Director of Logistics and Deployment, Teodora, also known as The Fixer, had the best and brightest operatives the department had to offer. Intelligence agencies all over the world recommended their top young agents, hoping to cement their relationship to the powerful organization. The Deputy Director of the FBI himself had written recommendations for Keith Derrick and Hugh Wittier, mentioning their athletic accomplishments, superior scholastic standings at their respective Ivy League Universities, and exceptional performances at the FBI academy.

Teodora studied the two handsome young men visible on the split screen of her computer. They might have impressive pedigrees and extensive training, but they were unskilled liars. She didn’t even need the voice stress analyzer built into her computer to tell her they were deviating from the truth; changes in the size of their pupils and arrested movements of their hands betrayed them. Unfortunately, she could not tell which specific incident they were lying about; their involuntary reactions had begun as soon as Keith opened his mouth to give the report.

They would not be concerned with her knowing they had presented themselves as NSA agents; all her operatives used whatever tools were necessary to get the job done. They would not be concerned with her knowing about the stolen car; they had reported it immediately. They would not be concerned with her knowing the subject had apparently been expecting them or that he had assumed they were interested in the books he read. That left the man—the tall bearded man wearing dark sunglasses and a green tracksuit—who had come out of the bedroom aiming a pistol.

If this gunman did exist, who was he? The subject had no close friends. They only knew about Emery Hill because the operatives found a note wedged in the rear of a desk drawer when they had gone back and combed the apartment.

If the gunman did not exist, how had the subject escaped? And why? Hugh and Keith had been sent simply to ask him what he knew about his mother’s cousin and her ward.

Teodora made a mental note to have her computer technicians look deeper into the subject’s background, then gave the operatives her undivided attention.

Hugh stared out at her from the computer screen. “Why are we looking for these women?”

“They have information.”

“We still have not found out what Hansen knows about them,” Keith said, “and the only item we found in his apartment that might be germane is the photograph album we sent you.”

“Is your fax machine set up?”

Keith nodded.

She faxed them one of the photographs her technicians had altered to show what the females might look like today. Keith reached for the fax, scrutinized it, then handed it to his partner.

A faint line appeared between Hugh’s brows. “I saw the younger woman walk by the coffee shop in Chalcedony.”

Keith snatched the picture and gave it a second look. “I didn’t see her.”

Hugh lifted one shoulder in a barely perceptible shrug.

Teodora made certain that her expression remained blank, but she could not keep her heart from beating faster.

“Find her,” she said.

***

Where to buy Light Bringer:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble Nook

iStore (on iTunes)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo)

Excerpt from LIGHT BRINGER by Pat Bertram

Description of Light Bringer:

Becka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

Excerpt from Light Bringer:

Philip woke in the dark of early morning, forehead damp with perspiration, heart pounding from unremembered nightmares. When calm settled over him, he listened for the sound of Rena’s even breathing on the other side of the thin wall. Hearing only an indigo silence, he rose and went to check on her. Because he didn’t take the time to put on his braces, he made sure to plant one foot on the floor before swinging the other forward.

Rena’s bed was empty.

He found her on the porch, sitting on the single step, her strange cat beside her.

She turned a smile on him, as bright as the starshine.

He sat next to her. “What are you doing out here?”

“Listening to the music of the spheres.” As one, she and the cat tilted their faces to the sky. “Can you hear it?”

He angled his head. He heard crickets chirping nearby, dogs barking in the distance, and farther away a train clattering on its tracks. As he isolated each sound, he set it aside until there were no more noises. Then, as if from some vast remoteness, he heard a faint silvery tone that seemed to swell, bursting into a thousand jewel-bright notes. Every note sounded clean and sharp, a thing unto itself, but melodized into an aural patchwork quilt of intricate design.

After a timeless interval—minutes or hours, he had no way of knowing—heavy clouds rolled in, turning off the sky.

He shivered in the cooling air. Rena inched closer, put an arm around his waist, and nestled against him.

Warmth and sweet harmony enveloped them as if that aural quilt had settled on their shoulders.

***

Where to buy Light Bringer:

Second Wind Publishing

Amazon

Barnes & Noble Nook

iStore (on iTunes)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo)

Excerpt from LIGHT BRINGER by Pat Bertram

Description of Light Bringer:

Becka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

Excerpt from Light Bringer:

The trail was a gentle decline, hard-packed, and free of rocks, as if it had been well traveled since time out of mind. It ended at a stream so clear its cobbled bed looked like a mosaic of semi-precious stones. On the other side of the stream, the tall meadow grasses, lavender in the mountain’s shadow, whispered softly among themselves.

Laughing, Rena caught Philip’s hand. “They’re inviting us to come play.” She ran the last few steps toward the edge of the water.

He pulled his hand away, hearing in his mind the sickening sound of ripping ligaments and tendons, and feeling the pain.

Walking carefully, he joined her by the stream.

“Too bad there’s not a bridge,” she said, “but the water isn’t deep. We can wade across.”

He put out a foot, drew it back. “You go. I’ll wait here.”

She nodded in understanding, and took his hand again. “That’s okay. I can go another time.”

They sat on the forested slope, listening to the whispering of the grasses increase in pitch as the day came to an end. After the sun set, they headed home in a rich, warm alpenglow that turned the world to gold.

***

Where to buy Light Bringer:

Second Wind Publishing

Amazon

Barnes & Noble Nook

iStore (on iTunes)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo)

End of the Trail

Poor old Santa looks like he hit the end of the trail.

End of the Trail

If he conked out before he brought you one of my novels, you can download 20-30% free at Smashwords.com in the ebook format of your choice. Or you can read the first chapter online before deciding which one you’d like to buy.

***

More Deaths Than OneBob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in SE Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. At her new funeral, he sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer, or is something more sinister going on?

Click here to read the first chapter: More Deaths Than One

***

A Spark of Heavenly FireIn quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable, bio-engineered disease, investigative reporter Greg Pullman risks everything to discover the truth: Who unleashed the deadly organism? And why?

Click here to read the first chapter of: A Spark of Heavenly Fire

***

DAIWhen twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Daughter Am I

***

Thirty-seven years after being abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Colorado, Becka Johnson  returns to try to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? And why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? And what do they have to do with a secret underground laboratory?

Click here to read the first chapter of: Light Bringer

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I.All Bertram’s books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.  At Smashwords, the books are available in all ebook formats including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

A Gift for a Grief-Stricken Friend

Grief: The Great Yearning by Pat BertramI haven’t really promoted my book Grief: the Great Yearning. It seemed crass and insensitive to capitalize on people’s grief, but the book has been a big help to many who have suffered a significant loss such as a husband or a parent. If you need a gift (or a stocking stuffer) for someone who is grieving, please consider giving them a copy of Grief: the Great Yearning. It might help to bring them comfort knowing that someone else has felt what they are feeling.

The print version of Grief: The Great Yearning is available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can even give the ebook in any format as a gift. Just go to Smashwords and click on “Give as Gift”.

If there are people on your Christmas list who like to read, please check out my other books. I’m sure they’d like at least one of them!

***

More Deaths Than OneBob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in SE Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. At her new funeral, he sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer, or is something more sinister going on?

Click here to read the first chapter: More Deaths Than One

***

A Spark of Heavenly FireIn quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable, bio-engineered disease, investigative reporter Greg Pullman risks everything to discover the truth: Who unleashed the deadly organism? And why?

Click here to read the first chapter of: A Spark of Heavenly Fire

***

DAIWhen twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Daughter Am I

***

Thirty-seven years after being abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Colorado, Becka Johnson  returns to try to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? And why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? And what do they have to do with a secret underground laboratory?

Click here to read the first chapter of: Light Bringer

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I.All Bertram’s books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.  At Smashwords, the books are available in all ebook formats including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

How Mountains Shape My Stories

Because I’ve always lived in the shadow of mountains, mountains always shadow my writing. This is especially true in Light Bringer. The story begins when a baby is found on the doorstep of a remote cabin in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, and continues years later when the foundling, now an adult, returns to the high country to find out who she is. The mountains in my novel are both protective and secretive — the hills protect those who live in their shadow, yet the mountains also harbor terrible and awesome secrets that threaten those same people.

Whenever I needed a hiding place for the secrets of the ages in Light Bringer, I searched maps for isolated mountain ranges, and ended up with a library beneath the Ahaggar Mountains in Algeria, ancient artifacts beneath the Beishanmai Mountains in the Gobi Desert, and experimental spacecraft beneath the McDonnell Ranges in Australia. I’d heard about  the mountains in Australia where the experiments were being done, and in my research I’d come across hints of what lay beneath the Ahaggar Mountains, but the Gobi location was strictly a guess, though later I discovered that in fact, caves deep inside the Beishanmai Mountains were repositories for ancient treasures.

Maybe the mountains themselves were helping with the book.

Excerpt from Light Bringer (Incidentally, though not all the treasures mentioned might have been found beneath the Ahaggar mountains, they do exist):

Of all the extraordinary things Teodora had seen since starting work on her current assignment, the library, deep within the Ahaggar Mountains in Algeria, had been the most stunning. She did not know who had created the library or how it had come into IISA’s possession, but she had the privilege of being one of the few people to have seen the place.

The passageways, dug thousands of years ago, were painted with pictures of cities that had crumbled to dust before history was born. Those tunnels led to a series of vast modernized rooms—climate-controlled, dust-free, computerized.

One room contained row upon row of glass cases, which protected manuscripts and scrolls too fragile to handle. Another room contained an untold number of clay tablets, some written in languages that had yet to be identified. A third room contained crystals and optical discs that held digitalized information, and other discs that gave off holographic images when spun. Though seemingly futuristic, they were relics of an incredibly remote past.

The final room contained bound books, most of which were less than two thousand years old. Tens of thousands of these books were alchemical texts that detailed such things as perpetual lamps, the manipulation of matter to produce force fields, and simple ways of creating sustainable energy. A few also talked about how certain churches in France were linked together to create a message, which pre-dated Christianity. These churches were built on ancient power points that had been mapped by astronomers and geomancers who wanted to warn future generations of the heavenly body that would come to destroy earth.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Creating Incredible but Credible Characters: Sex Scenes (Part 3)

[This is a continuation of previous posts Creating Incredible but Credible Characters: Sex Scenes (Part 1) and Creating Incredible but Credible Characters: Sex Scenes (Part 2)]

Each book I write has less sex in it than the last. In Light Bringer, my fourth novel, the characters didn’t have sex at all. But what can you expect from aliens? Still, it never occurred to me that I had left off any mention of sex until a reader pointed it out to me, because my characters connected in a way that served the story, as the following voyeuristic scene shows.

TLBeodora went still. The moment she’d been waiting for had finally arrived. Ninety-nine and a half percent of the subjects’ DNA tested as human, but the remaining half percent remained unidentified. Now, perhaps, she would see that unidentifiable half percent in action.

On the other side of the one-way window, the female cocked her head, and her face took on a rapt expression as if listening to a distant melody. When the male entered, her incandescent smile seemed to brighten the room.

The two subjects moved toward each other. The light became more radiant. They stopped an arm’s length apart. For a second Teodora thought she saw a rainbow between them, then they were in each other’s arms. An auroral glow drifted and whirled around them.

Something as delicate as a spray of perfume touched Teodora. Her skin drew tight, and she felt an immense thirst. She fixed the feelings in her mind so she could take them out and analyze them later, then she set them aside and concentrated all her attention on the subjects.

Hearing a faint thread of music, she held her breath. The music seemed to swell into a heart-breaking song of joy. The colors dancing around the subjects grew in intensity, colors she had never seen before. A distillation of rubies. A blue moon shimmering on restless waters. A green so pure it might have come out of the earth itself.

In the spaces where the colors overlapped, Teodora knew she was seeing the color of love, the color of total harmony and acceptance.

The colors echoed in Teodora’s emptiness, and she felt herself crying deep within her soul. This was something she wanted, but could not have. Maybe no human could.

 

Later, Teodora discusses the episode with her boss, the head of International Institute of Scientific Advancement.

“It was not like watching humans,” Teodora told Berhard Petri after reporting what she had learned about the subjects.

His eyebrows shot up, and she realized he’d caught the unusual touch of animation in her voice.

She modulated her tone. “It was like watching a higher form of life.”

“It hasn’t been established that they’re a higher form,” Petri said. “They could be a devolution.”

“You did not see. Theirs was an interaction on a higher plane, not about individual parts, but harmony of the whole. With humans, it is all about the body parts, the physical attributes. They do the act, but there is no resonance, no color, no song. It is as if humans have an ancestral memory of seeing the gods in love, and now they are trying to have what they had once seen, but only managing the visceral part. Like the ancient Egyptians trying to emulate the pyramid builders from an earlier age, they cannot get it right.”

 

Sex scenes don’t need to be deeply meaningful to be effective. Sex scenes can simply bring the couple together or show the intensity of a relationship. Sex scenes can create a change of pace, either as a diversionary tactic or as a quiet time between hectic scenes. A sex scene can be a fast-paced action sequence to get the reader’s blood roiling. A sex scene can even be playful or humorous. What it cannot be is a scene thrown in there just because you thought it was time for a sex scene. Such scenes need to be as germane and as necessary to the story as a plot twist or a revelation. If the scene can be removed from the book without leaving a hole, it should be removed or rewritten—unless of course you are writing erotica or another genre that demands lots of titillating sex. In which case, you are probably making a fortune and have no need for these tips.

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This article is anthologized in the Second Wind Publishing book: NOVEL WRITING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FROM AUTHORS OF SECOND WIND PUBLISHING, which was the 100th book released by Second Wind.

“As someone who constantly evaluates novels for publication, I was astonished at the breadth and clarity of the wonderful advice contained in this handbook. It addresses concerns as grand as plot development and as simple but essential as formatting your submission. It offers crucial advice on literary topics ranging from character development to the description of action. Virtually every subject that is of great concern to publishers — and therefore to authors — is covered in this clear, humorous and enormously useful guide.” –Mike Simpson, Chief Editor of Second Wind Publishing

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.