Contemporary

The Green Eyed Doll by Jerrie Alexander

Friday, December 07, 2012

How the longest drought and hottest summer on record influenced the story of THE GREEN-EYED DOLL

As I developed Catherine McCoy, the heroine in The Green Eyed Doll, Texas was having a record breaking year. Little did I know when the plot started taking shape that summer would be exactly as I was describing in the book. The weather and setting can provide an additional external conflict to heighten the tension and danger. Catherine had to survive the hottest summer and the longest drought on record. Almost broke, she took what work was available and still didn't have enough money to fix her car's air-conditioner when it went on the fritz! To test her determination, tenacity, and will to live, I created a serial killer who intended her to become his next doll.

Since Catherine had to suffer the heat, it seemed only fair the Sheriff Matt Ballard and his deputies do the same while they searched for each missing woman. In addition, a stray homesteaded Matt's place during this time. A No-Name dog who allowed Matt to feed but not touch him. (How No-Name finally got a name is another post.) I've included a few facts about the summer of 2011.

I hope you find them interesting. It's hard to imagine 70 days with 100-degree heat with temperatures of 105 or 107 and finally 108. Combine those incredible temperatures with the fact we hadn't had rain since the fall of 2010 and the situation became critical.

The weather bureau reported over eleven-thousand fires in Texas during 2011 resulting in almost three-and-a-half million acres burned.

Sometimes good things can come from bad. And the dry lake beds gave Texas back some of its history. Graveyards were found and are now being relocated.

Would you face a killer or plunge into an almost impassable, thorn filled, mosquito, and snake infested thicket?

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