So this acronym came to me recently as I was thinking about my novels from a thematic standpoint. Always, whether a Canaan's Crossing novel (the first one Dead Reckoning to be published 2023/24) or a stand alone or other series title, I possess certain elements in my writing "brew," common aspects that show up time and time again. Over the years going forward I imagine this mix will morph into other sidelights, but for now, these are phenomena you'll definitely see in my novels.
M. is for Mystery - There are always unsolved problems to deal with, murders and other ill-fated happenings, strange and unusual characters whose motives are questionable and unknown, circumstances that are unbelievable or shrouded in uncertainty, and a feeling of being ill at ease. Looking for answers is the order of the day.
A. is for Animals - It could be a stray like Mae West, the rag doll cat in Dead Reckoning found by Steve Johnson at the Co-Op, animals in the woods as in Native Echoes, or Miss Charlene's friend and constant companion Mojo in Dead Reckoning or The Wild Heron's Cry. Growing up with animals it's something I've always been a part of, and as an adult with my family we've always had scores of various types of pets. For us it's just normal and necessary. They are as much a part of our lives as breathing.
N. is for Nature - I've always had an affinity for nature, being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, actively moving, or, simply meditating by the marsh seated on a palm frond in the white south Georgia sand, crushed oyster shells all around me. The mountains, the beach, long walks in the woods are always things I've enjoyed, as a child with my parents and now with my wife and sons over the years. Emerson and Whitman were right about the sacred aspects of Nature. Of course this has never been a secret to many Native and Indigenous populations who've been cognizant of the inherent majesty and power of all things natural. There are distinct visions, emotions, and a strong passion that the outdoors bring us that can't be duplicated elsewhere.
S. is for Spirituality - Whether it be organized religion, the power of the universe, certain spiritual practices that are both good and bad, "true believers," disciples of the unknown and nebulous, or journeys of the soul, you'll always find something of a spiritual nature in my books.
All told, these factors blend into something I hope everyone will enjoy as they fall into the worlds I've created and relate to the characters that move and sway to their own tunes & rhythms.