Blood On The Pen
David W. Huffstetler
Wild Child Publishing
Amazon | B&N
A modern-day Ranger, Jack Harden, and a young, Mexican-American reporter, Elise Rodriguez, team up to find a serial killer, and they get more than they bargained for in a desperate chase across Texas. Jack grieves over the loss of his wife to a drunk driver, while Elsie tries to pull him from the edge of sanity in an action-packed thriller.
What was it like creating a story with these particular characters?
by David W. Huffstetle
Each of the characters in Blood on the Pen has very unique qualities, and that made for an interesting experience, trying to bring out those diverse personalities. When I started, I thought I knew them, but they taught me who they were as I wrote. I knew Elsie Rodriguez from an earlier book, Disposable People, and I intended to make this her story. Jack Harden would have none of that. He stepped in as a big, strapping Texas Ranger who demanded attention. He lost his wife to a drunk driver a year ago and he struggles to hold onto the vestiges of his sanity. But, Elsie would not play second fiddle either. She’s pushy, you know. The evolution of their complicated relationship took on a life of its own. Then came Eddie Carter, the unpublished author who decided it was time to kill off the literary agents that sent that nasty rejection letter. Eddie’s is a dark personality, and when I tried to get inside that mind to understand it, I had to keep bringing myself out. Those thoughts and emotions don’t need to stay in anyone’s head for very long.
These characters took me places I didn’t intend to go. I never meant to write the second book, Blood on the Cards, but they weren’t through with me. The supporting cast, like Moses Browner, toyed with me. If I sound like an author who let his characters drive him a little goofy, that just might be true. I love them and I hate them, all for the same reasons. So, it was like walking into a kaleidoscope, if that makes sense. I think it does to those authors who have given birth to characters and watched them grow up.
His knock had become familiar. She slipped on a light robe and opened the door. “Well, I see he loaned you a car. I never thought he would. Did you come to show it off to me?”
“Actually I came to bring you something,” he replied. He took the pistol from his pocket and held it out.
“What’s this about? Come inside before someone sees you and thinks I’m in the gun business.” She closed the door behind him, and he laid the pistol on her nightstand.
“Moses told me the investigators have been looking for this. I thought it would be better if they got it from you since, well, you shot the guy with it.”
“Okay, I guess I could go down there in the morning. Why don’t you go with me? You could say hello to your friends.”
Harden recoiled sharply. “I don’t need to see those guys. I’m doing fine without them.”
“What is it with you, Jack? How long are you going to torture yourself over something you can’t change? How long will you shut your friends out, everyone out? I’d just like to know.”
“Maybe you don’t need to know. Maybe you should mind your own life and butt out of mine.”
Her heart hadn’t felt such pain since her father’s death. She turned away and forced out a tearful answer. “Maybe I should.”
Then he spun her around and pulled her hard against his chest, nearly lifting her off the floor, and said, “Maybe not.” He kissed her full and deep on the lips. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back with parted lips and felt the heat of his pain and loneliness pouring through her. They burned with raw emotion, unleashed without a thought to where it would take them. They pulled at each other’s clothes until they lay flesh on flesh, wrapped around each other with just their passion to cover them. Only they knew exactly what happened that night, but it was deep and genuine, and neither of them regretted it.
About The Author:
Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.
David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA
He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914.
As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.
David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.
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