Meet the Heart-Breaker of Magnolia Bluff

I’m not sure my heart made the trip back from Afghanistan when I did. I’d at least appreciate Rebecca looking for it

THE WRITER SEES THE STORY vividly in his or her own mind. It plays like a movie. Maybe it’s more like an old-fashioned newsreel.

The writer sees it so clearly. That’s not enough. Now the writer has to transform the story and the characters into the heads of readers.

The writer becomes the camera.

That is always my personal concern.

Can I make sure the readers see my characters as clearly as I do? If not, all I have given them are stick figures.

And that’s the death knell of any book.


Caleb Pirtle III

In my newest mystery, Eulogy in Black and White, due for release on May 20, my hero, Graham Huston, is stricken by the lovely Rebecca Wilson. I describe her this way:

She’s tall. She’s a brunette. She could have walked in from the cover of some magazine, wearing a deep blue dress that looks like silk or satin. Rebecca was probably a cheerleader and quite possibly the Homecoming Queen a few years back. She was definitely a heartbreaker but stayed around while most of her classmates left town for college or better-paying jobs, and then she looked up one morning and realized there were no hearts left in Magnolia Bluff to break. I’d be willing to let her break mine, but I’m not sure my heart made the trip back from Afghanistan when I did. I’d at least appreciate Rebecca looking for it, but what would either one of us do if she found it? She wouldn’t want it, and I’d just throw it away again.

Rebecca is the receptionist, the society editor, and the head of advertising sales. Want your daughter’s wedding picture on the front page? Buy an ad. Want a photograph of your grandchild’s graduation tucked prominently in the newspaper and above the fold? Buy an ad. Want Rebecca to throw away the cell phone shots of you dancing naked at a biker’s bar in Austin? Buy an ad. Rebecca Wilson is a top-of-the-line saleslady. She makes more money than the publisher and deserves every cent she can stuff into the bank. She knows who’s having a shotgun wedding, who’s getting divorced, who’s involved in which extracurricular activity at the high school, which preacher has given up booze for smack, who’s pregnant, and who the real father is.

Rebecca winks, and her smile can light up a dismal room. She’s not flirting. It’s her way of saying hello without breaking the cold, deadly, morning silence of a newspaper office that has all the personality of a funeral parlor.


She’s broken more than one heart.

Will Graham Huston’s heart be next?

Please click HERE to pre-order Eulogy in Black and White on Amazon.

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