Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Blogger Gail M. Baugniet

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Gail M. Baugniet as guest blogger today. Gail’s first self-published novel, FOR EVERY ACTION There Are Consequences, released in 2011, introduces Hawaiian-born Pepper Bibeau as an insurance investigator whose routine assignments lead her through a maze of suspense. (Note to my blog readers: If you love a good mystery, you’ll love this book.) Gail, who resides in Honolulu, Hawaii, is currently at work completing her second novel in the series for release in 2012. Today she discusses her new interview series with independent authors.

In several reviews of FOR EVERY ACTION There Are Consequences my protagonist Pepper Bibeau has been described as a "strong female character." This portrayal refers not to her muscular prowess, but to her emotional mettle. In Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, the synonyms for mettle that best describe Pepper are: strength of character; energy; fire; heart; moxie . . . and resolve, which in turn is related to determination, earnestness, and fixed purpose.

Words cut both ways and Pepper’s resolve, or fixed purpose, in her professional life tends to waver when applied to personal situations. Uncertainty does not weaken her character, though. By acknowledging indecision as provisional, a safe interim condition, Pepper is able to maintain a comfortable level of confidence and emotional stability.

On Mondays, beginning January 9, 2012, I will present interviews with Independent Authors who have written and published a mystery/suspense novel featuring a strong female protagonist. The interviews will focus on fellow indie-authors, spotlighting their first published novel and the strengths of their main character.

Indie authors interested in a personalized guest interview, please contact me via email: gbaugniet (at) aol (dot) com with the word INTERVIEW in the subject line. Include a link to your novel in the body of the email. If you have an upcoming promotional event that you want to coordinate with the interview, please include that date with your request. Thank you.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hope and Another Year

Photo by Henry Mühlpfordt

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
—Isaiah 43:19

Behold, I make all things new.
—Revelation 21:5

I love new beginnings. Fresh starts, fresh hopes. Where would we be without the hope that things can be made new?

"By this time next year . . ."
"Starting today, I’m going to . . ."
"In two months I’ll be . . ."

Still, sometimes I shake my head when I hear words like these coming out of my mouth. If I’m in a bad mood, they seem like evidence that I’ve been duped yet again by that old hope thing. Shame on you, I tell myself. You’re old enough to know better. How many more years are you going to believe "X" can change?

It’s hard to start another new year realizing that many of the hopes you had for the old one weren’t fulfilled, and it’s tempting to shield yourself from disappointment by deliberating hardening yourself into a state of indifference.

When our wished-for new beginnings fail—or we fail them—most of us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off (for a day or a month, maybe while vowing not to be fooled by hope again), then hope once more for something to be made new. And so on, and so on. After a few decades of this I-will-hope/I-won’t-hope cycle, you begin to understand why hope is a virtue. Because hope takes an act of will. And you can kill it if you wish. Killing it is easy compared to keeping it alive.

All this is not to say that hopes are never fulfilled or that new beginnings never come. They do. They just don’t come as often as we’d like or in the ways we’d like. Sometimes it seems like God is more than just a little late with doing a new thing.

Most of the time, it’s only by looking back over many years that we can see the new things that entered our lives. Like stepping stones in a river, leading us from one side to the other, these things were unremarkable as we set foot on them—just part of the scenery of life. But they led us from one bank of the river to the other, and crossing the Jordan in baby steps is no less of a miracle than running across the dry floor of the suddenly parted Red Sea.

To those of you who made new year’s resolutions and those of you who didn’t, to those of you who think it might be time to grow a callous on your heart and those of you who have decided to give hope another year, I wish you the best in 2012.