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Witches on the Road Tonight

Just finished ‘Witches on the Road Tonight’ by Sheri Holman. It was interesting. Not exactly what I thought it would be. The story jumps from the past to the present and sometimes in between. It is the tale of a dying weather man, Eddie,   who also hosts a weekly horror movie night on a local television station. He grew up in the Appalachians in a place called Panther Gap. It’s the 40’s and his mother is a reputed witch.  He is ostracized by the local kids and while running away from a beating runs into a car driven by a man and a woman who have been hired by the Federal government to map the state and write stories with photos of different locations. They stop to help Eddie who refuses to go to the hospital, so they take him home. They should have dropped him off and ran as far and as fast as they could. But of course they don’t.

It is a tangled story about those people and Eddie and his own family in the future. I finished it because curiosity about what was really happening kept me going. I can’t say I really liked the characters. None of them were really likable. All of them seemed to have a death wish.  I was hoping it would have more mountain lore and less fantasy. I never really understood what the witch was doing, or why. I guess I never really understood that character’s motivation, other than she wanted to fly. Endings don’t always have to be satisfactory but when everything was tied up at the end, it left me wanting further explanation. I was left too unsure about some of the story lines so felt unsatisfied. I do think this author is a good writer. She is able to tell a story and weave the story lines. This one just felt like it ended with too many knots going no where.

I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who like a little fantasy with their mystery.

Virginia

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in What I'm Reading

 

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Time to Get to Know the Bad Guy

I would like to say I got more done with my story this week but it wouldn’t be honest. I am still working out the kinks of my characters. Protagonist is shaping up well but I think that is because the idea started out with her. I have a skeletal plot and know that because this is a mystery there has to be at least one murder but I don’t have a good grasp of my villain.

This weekend, I am working on the villain. I have ideas for how the victims will die but I need to know the killer a little better. Who he/she is and why he/she would want to kill a bunch of little old ladies. So to work on this, I pulled out another reference book
to help, ‘Bullies, Bastards and Bitchesby Jessica Morrell.

I think the hardest part about the villain is that you have to be able to create someone the reader will fear and hate but they still have to have some quality that  is unexpected and makes them if not likeable, at least human.  Just as the good guy has
to have some flaw, there has to be something good about the bad guy. If the protagonist is perfect and the antagonist is totally evil, the reader knows exactly what to expect, there are no surprises, and the story becomes predictable. So that is my assignment for this weekend.

Today is also the first day of my vacation and I do plan to put in many hours of writing.  I also need to have a little fun, as well. A cookout this evening with family and I’m meeting with my critique group tomorrow about 45 minutes away. None of our group lives in the same town. Because we are scattered within the central part of the state, we picked a city in the middle and try to meet there twice a month. We usually do lunch and then head to a local bookstore for a nice chat and critique, depending on what each member needs.

As far as reading this week, I am working on ‘Witches on the Road Tonight’, by Sheri Holman. It is for pleasure but also for a little research on how this author writes about witches in the Appalachia’s. I am about half way through and it is an enjoyable read. I
will plan to review it later.

Hope you too have a great week – reading and or writing.

Virginia

 

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