THOUGHTS ON WRITING THE EMISSARY

Just a quick peek on the back of the cover of The Emissary and then I will go into a bit more background. So…. here I go.

The Emissary takes place during WW2 and spans several generations. It is a supernatural/thriller/mystery. An emissary of Satan (Tony Charelle) visits the small village of Newcombe in south-western Ontario. His mission is to capture the soul of its minister, the Reverend Robert Whitehead. Satan has a second purpose for this “visit” which is unknown to Charelle. Minor events taking place in Newcombe have far-reaching consequences decades later causing the breakdown of societies and cultures around the world. (concludes in my third novel, The Emissary’s Endgame).

This supernatural thriller has no blood, guts and gore but can be terrifying nonetheless. I believe one’s own imagination can paint dramatic images. The setting and location of several residences in The Emissary are as they were when I was a child living in a village during WW2.

 Back to The Emissary. Tony has been in human form for hundreds of years adapting to the changing centuries. You can read more about him in his Background story. He appears human in his emotions and actions. He is a handsome being, highly intelligent and extremely charming. It is only when people interfere with his plans that his true evil power surfaces. Those not in his path unknowingly accept him and invite him into their homes.

Now, the characters in the village are pretty much based on characters of my childhood. The names, of course, have all been changed including the name of the village. In the village there was, indeed, a general store with a hard working couple (the “Orlowskis”) as owners. The description of the cafe owned by “Arlene” is as it was when I lived there. The description of the house where “Alice” lived is fiction, the two room school house and the house of the “Sills” sisters are true. I can still remember the sisters who owned the house did not believe in electricity. At night one could see the twinkling of lanterns as they walked around their home. The garage Tony used as his base of operation was once a  blacksmith shop. A family did live outside of town but, of course, the rest is fiction.

Villages have always fascinated me: the people, the dynamics, the hierarchy and, of course, the gossip.  I often thought about “the ladies who quilt” in the church basement and the chatting that when on during tea time. When the quilt was finished, it was sold at a neighbouring village’s Fall Fair. The money raised was used for church and school expenses. Let me share this bit of memory with you.  My mother, being German, was not exactly welcomed but tolerated. When she went quilting, she took me with her. I took my doll and sat quietly under the quilt while the ladies sewed. One old lady absolutely terrified me and she knew it. This one day I played quietly with my doll and suddenly I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. A pair of teeth appeared under the quilt, chomping together accompanied by a witch’s cackle. I was so terrified, I immediately stood up under the quilt sending scizzors, thread and spools flying. I ran up the stairs from the basement, screaming, heading for home. All I heard was her hilarious laughter, along with the other women, of course. Except my mother who waited for the hilarity to die down before severely scolding the old lady.

As I began writing about the village and the people who lived there, I thought about evil being inserted into that good Christian village and the image of Tony began to form. Around the time I was six or seven a handsome, dark stranger came into the village. I don’t remember all that much about him except his good looks charmed the village and, in particular, a couple of the married women. And that is all I can say about that. Oh….but the population of the village had a couple of new citizens but, you realize, that is only gossip! Thus, Tony was born. 

The events that took place from the episode of the outhouse on Halloween evening, and the church rituals, the bringing home of the hay were all true. Now, for my last story. I was a small, actually a really tiny kid. One late fall afternoon, it was the end of haying season. I stood on the side of the gravel road near our house watching the farmers. They sat high on the wagons loaded with hay. The horses were hot, sweating and foaming at the mouth. The horses plodded along slowly dragging the heavy hay wagon. The sun was going down, and this farmer was hot, tired and cranky. He cracked his whip over the back of the horses. I remember screaming at him. He glared down at me and brought down the whip yet again. To this day, I still can hear the crack of the whip on the horses’ backs.

Thank you for travelling down memory lane with me. The Emissary  and The Emissary’s Endgame can be purchased through Amazon.ca or my website, ericaneale.ca and ebooks on Kindle, Kobo and Indigo

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