Symbolism in Fiction

In school I always wondered about the professor’s comments regarding symbolism in fiction. In the short story, “The Blue Hotel,” I distinctly remember the prof pointing out that the color was important in that it symbolized something sinister. Something “off.”

“Who paints a house or hotel blue?” she asked.

The answer today, of course, is: lots of people. My best friend’s house was blue. My cousin painted her house blue. There was nothing sinister about either. This, of course, is not to say my professor was wrong. For the time the story was written she was likely correct.

Symbolism in our own work, and in our own time, sometimes escapes even ourselves. Yet, often, it is there.

In my novel, Legacy 627, there is a young man named Paul. He is the friend of one of my protagonists. It is no mistake that we see almost nothing from Paul’s point of view. We come to know him only through Rachael and her journal. He is an important character: sensitive and intelligent—a brilliant conversationalist. He is alone and sad, having lost both his partner/friend and his mother. He is also gay.

It is no accident that he lives on the periphery of my novel just as he does in his fictional life. His deliberate placement on that periphery is symbolic of what society has done — and continues to do — to him and to people like him. He is marginalized by those homophobes and xenophobes whose righteous bigotry would have him not exist at all, and he ultimately dies at their hands.

Why was this character in my novel at all? Because I have something to say. Sometimes you find the “saying” so important you must write it. Sometimes what you have to say — and what you do say — is so important and so timely you find a way. And sometimes symbolism is the best way, owing to the impact it can have.

Hitting the reader over the head isn’t nearly as powerful as reaching into his/her depths and finding that one nerve, that one chord of compassion that resonates and turns on an inner light, however dim.

Symbolism, I believe, accomplishes by stealth what shouting cannot ever hope to do. So whether you use symbolism directly or indirectly, it is a powerful tool when you have something to say. And, as a writer, you should always have something to say.

Sequel to Legacy 627

I’m happy to announce the sequel to Legacy 627 has been completed and is now at the publishers awaiting a read, an okay, a contract, editing, and ….we hope….publishing.

It was such fun to write. A continuation of the Cascadian team of characters along with some new ones I hope you will find both interesting and entertaining.

Cover reveal as soon as publisher gives okay.

Hang in there with me. This one is a good one!

The Inheritance

My flash fiction story, “The Inheritance,” has been published today in the Galaxy 2 sci-fi anthology published by Clarendon House. It is available now at Amazon

This is a strange little tale and a departure from my usual style. I hope you will consider purchasing this volume as your purchases support the many authors who work very hard to entertain. And I hope you will enjoy my small contribution as well.

Legacy 627: An Excerpt

Gulf of Mexico
USA Central time 12:45 a.m.

Gray leaned against the bulkhead and peered out the window at the water below. Under the full moon the surface of the Gulf appeared to shimmer beneath a silvery glaze. The weather report had warned that a hurricane was just beginning to whip up southern waters down by Cuba, but it didn’t appear the outer reaches had touched the major area of the Gulf as yet.

He hoped the weather would hold off until everyone was out of harm’s way and safely aboard. Avoiding chaos and danger was always high on Gray’s list of preferables.

The tiltrotor had been in the air for less than fifteen minutes. They wouldn’t arrive for another three hours at best. He knew the CIMA-2 team was the best in the CIB, and he had every confidence they would be there when he arrived. Still, he was finding it difficult to put it all out of his mind. He needed to sleep while he could. He would be needed when they reached the target area.

But what if they weren’t there? What if he arrived too late to save them?

~~~****~~~

You can get your copy today at Amazon and other booksellers.

ITW Member!

I am very excited to announce that I am now a member of International Thriller Writers. My book, Legacy 627, has been entered by my publisher into their annual Thriller Awards Best First Novel competition!

More Reviews!

I’m so excited that more reviews have been posted for my recently-published novel, Legacy 627.

I know it’s very early, but I’m very encouraged that people are reading it and liking it. Check out the reviews at Amazon!