Author’s Notes on DEMON LOVER

It was early in December of 1983 that I got “the call.” That is, the phone call every writer never forgets, the one that told me the synopsis and three chapters of a novel titled “Coyote’s Captive” which my agent had submitted to Silhouette was destined to become my first published book.

Of course, I still had to write it, a process I recall as being something akin to etching words on stone with my fingernails.

Determined to make the book as authentic as possible, before I started writing at all I set out to explore the setting–Baja California, a place I had never visited except for a brief trip to Tijuana with my mother when I was about three. Alone, I drove across the border at San Ysidro and ventured south via Tijuana’s primitive freeway system. Very few miles into my adventure I realized my high school Spanish had completely deserted me, and the landscape had taken on the appearance of a war zone, at which point I turned around and headed back to the good old USA. After waiting several hours in line to cross the border, I made straight for my local library (no internet back then) and checked out every book I could find on Baja California.

I did manage to interview a female border patrol agent, so the trip wasn’t a complete waste of time.

A footnote to this story: Several years later, at a writer’s conference, I met a woman in an elevator who peered at my name tag and gleefully told me how much she had enjoyed the book, particularly the setting, which she was certain was the very spot where she and her husband had once gone fishing. So, thank you, National Geographic!

Re-titled “DEMON LOVER,” that book, my first, was released in February of 1985. Such a long time ago!

Original Cover of DEMON LOVER

One of the decisions I had to make in preparing this book for digital publication in the 21st Century was whether to bring it forward in time. In some ways, so much has changed: We didn’t have cell phones, GPS, or the internet; home computers were in their infancy. But in other ways, nothing much has changed: We are still dealing with illegal immigration, terrorism, and the wounds of war.

In the end, it was that last one that made me decide to leave the time setting in the early 1980’s. The war in this case is Vietnam, which was unlike any war this country has been involved with, before or since. It left grievous wounds on our national psyche, much as it did on the central character in this book. Chayne Younger’s story needed to be kept just as he told it, and I have done so.

One other small note: DEMON LOVER is the first and only book I ever wrote solely from the heroine’s point of view. I still think it was the right decision. I hope you will, too.

And so, on this, the 30th birthday of my writing career, come journey with me, back in time…