I had completed my first novel, A Matter of Faith, which will now be book three in the Sapphire Series. When I developed a character by the name of Irene. I knew at one time she was wealthy and had to leave her lifestyle behind. As the character developed, I realized she had to go into hiding from her abusive husband. But I didn’t know anything more about her.
One evening, I watched a documentary about baseball by Ken Burns called, Tenth Inning. In the Tenth Inning, Burns looks at the use of steroids by players and how the league handled it. After we finished the documentary, I turned to my husband and said, “there’s a whole other side to this story that wasn’t covered”. My husband asked what that was. The wives married to these men.
It was then that I knew where Irene came from. She was married to one of these players who put fame and fortune above good sense.
I proceeded to do research on the effects of steroid use and abuse. As I did more research on domestic violence and abuse of women by athletes. I was compelled to tell a story that would bring these issues into the light. It wasn’t difficult to learn more, with the latest news about athletes being arrested for hitting their wives or girlfriends.
Rick Brennan embodies many of the traits of abusers. He’s controlling, manipulative and irresponsible. His excuses for his choices are taken from ball players who were interviewed or reported on, regarding steroid use.
Around the same time, I picked up a small book by a former Game Warden. Intrigued by the selfless lifestyle, dedication and commitment by conservation officers I did more research. It takes a very special person to go to work in the woods, face wild animals and deal with careless people. Thus, Trent Daniels was born.
It wasn’t too difficult to put myself in Irene’s shoes, since I had at one time left all that was familiar and moved to Stevensville Montana. While I
wasn’t fleeing for my life, I did have to rebuild my life. When I moved to the Bitterroot Valley in the late 90’s, I wasn’t running from something, but pursuing a dream.
The time I spent in Montana are some of my happiest moments in life. Combined with the special people, the beautiful scenery, and sense of community, it is why I chose Stevensville for the Sapphire Series.
To read an excerpt of A Matter of Courage, click here.
A Matter of Courage is available on Amazon in print or Kindle.