Where you get to hear the people who make publishing–and Boroughs especially–what it is.
Short pieces by our authors
Anne Roebuck Believing in Magic & Love
Everything looks different by candlelight. Or gaslight. Softer, less defined, less focused, more diffused. Everything sounds different, too. The rattle of carriage wheels, the moan of the wind, the rustle of leaves in a deserted graveyard. It's easier to peer into the realms of the supernatural and hear the hushed voices of ghosts and spirits speaking to you from beyond the veil of death.
It was easier to believe that both magic and love were real and not illusions.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the modern world. Science and technology have in many ways changed things for the better. But sometimes, I wonder what it must have been like a century or so ago when everything was less cut and dried and there was more room for magic and mystery.
What must have it been like for a young widow, living in a world of respectability as tightly laced as her corset, to descend into the hidden realms where she is never sure what is real and what is illusion? And the magician who serves as her guide, a man with arcane knowledge and a disreputable past. Is he her protector or her ruin? Will she discover an awesome reality behind all the illusions or will she just end up on the primrose path to perdition?
For people like me who are crazy enough to want to look behind the façade of today’s ordinary world, we find all manner of bizarre things, like hundred-year-old artifacts hidden in an attic that seem like so many relics of a superstitious past. Sometimes we are tempted to get cocky or complacent and think that these things aren’t real. But they are. They are as real now as they were then. Things like magic and love.
Emily Mims All Inclusive
San Antonio is a bilingual and bicultural city, and it would be impossible to set a story there and not include some of the wonderful Mexican traditions all San Antonians enjoy. These touches show up in small ways in the Heaven’s Point stories, such as Armando Fuentes’ enchiladas and Beto Flores’s guyabera shirts. And, in the last two books in the series, which are set in San Antonio and feature the Navarro family, I got to showcase some of the traditions we enjoy throughout the year, such as mariachi music, Las Posadas, quinceañeras, and a good ole’ plate of migas.
In A Gift of Hope, Lalo and Gina participate in the annual Las Posadas that winds its way through downtown San Antonio; a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging on Christmas Eve. This custom, also widely celebrated in Mexico, always ends with the couple finding shelter, as well as hot chocolate and a piñata. The next morning Gina makes Lalo a plate of migas, an eggs-and-corn tortilla dish that started as a poor man’s food, but in the right hands is a culinary art form. Delicious!
The quinceañera, a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday and her introduction into adult society, is typically a lavish affair, and in some ways closely mimics a wedding (without the groom), with a church service and processional; the white dress and court of honor, and a big party afterwards. A quinceañera is as complicated to organize as a wedding, and in Once, Again it provides some insight into Misty, who reflects that her parents couldn’t bother with giving her one. And, as portrayed in Once, Again, a mariachi band, much like the one Misty plays in, frequently provides the music at a quinceañera.
I couldn’t write my Texas Hill Country stories without showcasing the rich multicultural history we Texans enjoy!
Joan Bird Torturing the Ones We Love
Any character in a story, whether romance, fantasy, horror, science fiction – even a delightful children’s book – must in some degree be either loved or hated. The most devastating event for any writer is learning a character infuses so little emotion, the reader disengages from the tale, stops turning pages and opts to clean closets instead.
It is that impetus that calls us to the keyboard. We want our story told, but more importantly, we hope that our babies – so many words on the page – be read about, laughed or cried over, remembered, and retold. Never wanting to do any less than strangle Scarlet O’Hara, and too chicken to admit what I’d have done to Sgt. Logan Thibault in The Lucky One had we shared a cocktail, illustrates the point.
Why do these reactions garner responses that evoke tears, laughter and the furious tossing of a book at the wall because of some torture imposed on the hero or heroine? (This method of expressing frustration, by the way, is not recommended with a Nook or Kindle). Why torture your primary characters? Because your hero/heroine must evince a human reaction from mere words. Some connection must pop between the beachgoer in a floppy hat dipped in SPF 50, and the gutsy girl or a sometimes arrogant boy, coming to life from a simple twenty-six character alphabet.
Nothing draws hearts and minds closer to a Blanche Dubois or Cinderella, inspires rooting for one dashing Duke or an aw-shucks cowboy, than feeling their pain. As writers we must ensure their suffering, adding misadventures or missed connections, past woes and tragedies, like pinches of salt to the recipe. If we accept that life’s events have impacted us personally, we can do no less for those we love and craft into a story.
Charlotte Boyett-Compo wrote over one hundred books. We are honored that 100-103 were new stories she wrote for Boroughs Publishing Group: Under the Mayhaw Tree, A Mayhaw Christmas, and Moonlight Rider. Also, we had fun working with Charlee updating three books: Wild Island Winds, HardWind and Hot Georgia Winds.
Charlee loved to write, tell a good story on paper and over the phone, and she had strong opinions on many topics, which she shared freely and with enthusiasm. Her heroines are passionate, speak their mind and give as good as they get from willful heroes who can’t help but love strong women.
Time is a cruel thief who stole Charlee from us too soon. We shall miss her immensely. We lost a beloved friend.