What Writing Is All about…to me

The first thing I look for in a good story are characters that I care about.  It doesn’t have to be a good guy, it can be the villain, so long as they are realistic to me.  They can’t be superman with no flaws or weaknesses — after all, even Superman has his Kryptonite he has to contend with.  It has to be someone who has a reason for what he or she does. And just to make it easy to type, I’m going to use the term ‘he’ to refer to my villain in this piece,  even though it can be of either gender and even  inanimate or animal.

He must have a reason that makes sense to him for what he does.  He must have a sense of purpose, even if it is to cause someone else misery.  He must be interesting, and I have to be able to relate to him, even if I don’t agree with him or like him.   I expect him to win some of the fights, even most of them, but I also expect and want him to lose the final confrontation.  

But most important, to me at least, I have to understand him.  That means I have to understand what drives him.  In order to do that, I have to spend the time to develop a backstory for him.  That may be his childhood, via some abuse or conflict, or maybe some emotional loss that he blames others for, that left him marked in some deep way and altered his perception of the world and those in it.  To create a believable, and in some ways sympathetic villain, I had to spend a lot of time thinking about his backstory.  That meant I had to think about his life from birth to when we meet him in the story, and I had to think about what events might have shaped him and his thinking to the point we meet him in the story.  Once I have his story and his motivations, then it becomes possible to determine how he will react to a given situation that either advances or hinders his goals.  

I believe the villain is the centerpiece of the story, and that the hero can only be as good as the villain is bad.  The villain provides the incentive and opportunity for the hero to become the hero,  I would say to any writer, make your villain interesting and the rest will follow.

Next time… I will share my thoughts on the hero.  Till later…


The Troll Bridge – A review

I found a resource that anyone who want to be a writer and had written a book needs to check out.  I am candidly tooting my own horn, thisis my site so why not?  Check them out.  They are free and always looking for new authors.  I was fortunate enough to get a good review, which encourages me to keep going.


Cold Coffee Café

Cold Coffee Press


Recent review for “The Troll Bridge”

Book Review

Raised in Vermont I have always been fascinated with covered bridges, railroad bridges and river bridges. So the title ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach caught my attention right away. The prologue hooked me and it was very hard to put this book down for any reason.

Larry Auerbach is a master story teller and if you ever loved exploration as a kid and dreamed of finding something of value while exploring the farm yards, local woods, railroad tracks, old buildings, river banks etc. around your town, this book will draw you into this teen adventure that involves a hidden cave in West Texas.

Well-developed characters like Duane McCathern, Tony Picano find they need some help when the old town’s folklore about a hidden cave may have more merit than just to spook kids. Here is a quote from the book to peak your interest.

“We’re here, we’re a team, and we’re all going to watch each other’s back. We all share the risk, we all share the rewards—equally,” Duane told him. He put out his hand to Ron, who took it and held it in affirm grip. Tony put his hand over theirs, and all three of them put their other hand on the pile of hands. It was done. Tomorrow they would go to school, and come Friday, the adventure would begin for real. Fame and fortune awaited them in that hole. It was a sure thing, they were all certain. What could possibly go wrong?”

Eleven fast paced chapters will take you on an adventure of paranormal (supernatural) intrigue written for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults along with you if you are young at heart, spirit and mind.

I invite you cross over ‘The Troll Bridge’, feels the spray from the raging water below, walk the river banks if you dare as “Trolls” are known to live under bridges where people and things go missing. Join these teens as they use every creative bone in their bodies and life skills to explore a hidden cave in the hopes they will all make it out alive with treasure worth dying for.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach as an adventure worth taking. Other books by Larry Auerbach include Common Threads, The Spirit Of Redd Mountain, A Matter Of Justice, and A Matter Of Honor. I read and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on 02/20/2017.

Western History Today: President John Tyler dies.

February 18 —


On this day in 1862, former U.S. President and Confederate congressman-elect John Tyler dies at age 71 in Richmond, Virginia.

John Tyler, 10th US President
John Tyler, 10th US President

Tyler, who was born in Virginia in 1790, served as a U.S. congressman and as governor of his home state before winning election to the U.S. Senate. state during the 1830s, when many of the sectional issues were emerging in national politics. A Whig, Tyler became the 10th U.S. vice president in March 1841. Within a month of his inauguration, President William Henry Harrison died in office and Tyler vaulted into the executive chair. The major achievement of his administration was the addition of Texas to the Union in 1845.

After his presidency ended in 1845, Tyler retired to his plantation, Sherwood Forest, in Virginia. His fellow Virginians called on the 70-year-old to head a Peace Convention in the winter of 1860-1861. This body tried to negotiate a com-promise with the Republicans in the North to prevent a civil war. The attempt failed, as the Republicans were not willing to entertain any proposals that would protect slavery in the Western territories. Tyler was a delegate to the subsequent Secession Convention and later became a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America. He felt that victory was impossible for the Confederates but nonetheless suggested that Confederate cavalry be dispatched to capture Washington, D.C., before the Union military was in place.

Tyler was elected to the permanent Congress of the Confederate States of America but died before he could take his seat. He was survived by his second wife, Julia, and 11 of his 15 children. Tyler is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.



To purchase a signed copy of Larry Auerbach’s novel “A MATTER OF HONOR”, Click Here

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com

New Energy

I am taking the time to let anyone who might drop in to read these lines that I am expanding my presence on social media.  Slowly, to be sure, this is foreign territory to me, but I hope to pick up steam as I go along.  The first thing I am doing is joining Cold Coffee Cafe, which is an internet meeting house for new and self-published authors who are trying to make a name and place for themselves in the literary world.  I am new to this group, so I don’t know a lot of the details yet, I am still finding my way through the isles, as it were.  I will be talking about it more as I get further into it.   I will be placing all five of my books on their ‘shelves’, and I will be resuming my blog for aspiring writers, talking about the dark and depressing side of being an author — always write what you know about the most — and I will be trying to create one for the cafe, on heaven knows what at this point, but such a presence is part of the membership so I will do my best to make it interesting to anyone who reads it.  SO-o-o-o, if any-one has any ideas or suggestions, I would truly love to hear them.  I am thinking, at this point, that they will be posted on Sunday, as that is when I have the most time to write, although I will probably be putting them together all week.  

So, between seeing clients Monday thru Friday, I am now making the decision to take on more writing work.  I am working on my next story in the middle of this new load, but no reward comes without work.  If I want recognition, I have to do what it takes to earn it.

Be sure to check out the cafe if you like to tell stories,  or if you like to read something beside the same old names you already know.  Hey, I have my list of favorite authors, Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, Robert Knott (filling in for the late Robert Parker on his Appaloosa series with Marshal Everett Cole), and anything about our American West and the Civil War (both sides), but I am always looking for someone new and exciting, or with a new angle on the old stuff.   

For example, I read a couple of stories by a write names Kevin Hogge, I thought they were goo and exciting reading.  Look for his name.

So, I have a lot to say and I better get to getting it said.  See you later.

Mr. Wysquers

I have five out of fourteen stories completed for Mr. Wysquers.  I am aiming for this to be done for Christmas, as I want this to be a some-what inspirational work.  It is based on my practice and what I teach clients about re-inventing themselves in spite of  what may look like overwhelming odds.  It can be done, if the individual is willing to do the work necessary.  Over the years, I have seen many do it them-selves and begin to enjoy their lives once more, or for the first time. These stories represent some of the people I have known over the years, and the steps they took to achieve those goals.  

I will update this as I complete them, and I will say there is an “easter egg” in the stories.  We will see who is able to spot it when the book is done.  


Stay tuned!

Mr. Wysquers

Mr. Wsyquers is a very interesting old man who shows up in several people’s lives at just the right moment.  He listens to their story, and tell them they are about to have the best day in their lives, if they are willing to do what it takes.  Some people are willing to take a chance and some are not up to it, and so the best day in their lives goes for nothing.


His first encounter is done, but there are more to tell.

The Troll Bridge

Just a note of apology.  On the website, under “About the books”, the plot for “The Troll Bridge” is not correct.  A technical error has reproduced the plot of “A Matter of Justice”.  It will be corrected as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here is the real plot for “The Troll Bridge”.


In 1935 west Texas, two teenagers — Duane McCathern and TonyPicano  — decide to go search for a lost treasure of Confederate gold based on an old tale told by a retired Texas Ranger, involving Indians and a mysterious spirit.  As their hunt starts, another boy, a long-time rival, finds them in a cave and they must reluctantly include him in their hunt,  It doesn’t take them long before they realize they need more help so their new partner brings in someone, an A. B. Conway, that he says has the expertise and the skills they need to get the gold they believe is hidden in that cave.  The only problem is that A. B. Conway is Abbie.  Tony is at once smitten and Duane is clearly annoyed.

Once they get the hunt underway, Abbie proves her skill at fabricating machinery is beyond their expectations.  And that is a good thing as the hunt suddenly takes an unexpected turn as all of them begin to have out of body experiences and they run into other supernatural problems.  As they get closer to the gold, the problems mount and Duane and Tony start showing signs of stress.  Then things really start getting strange as all four start having visions of the past. A spirit from the past begins influencing their actions, leading Duane in one direction and Tony in another.  As both the distant and the recent past begin to reveal themselves, all of them must make decisions that will have long lasting results.  Abbie has to choose between Duane and Tony, and Duane must choose between Tony and Abbie.  Who, if any, will make it out of the cave and who will make a deal with the Devil.

Kindle now available!

I just want to let it be known that all five of my books are now available on Kindle.  Support a starving artist, get a book to read on your Kindle.  They are $9.99 each, so get a couple for the long holiday weekend when all you will be able to see on tv are the same old Christmas movies and Christmas specials.  Read something you’ve never read before!

  1.  Common Threads
  2.  The Spirit of Redd Mountain
  3.   A Matter of Honor
  4.   A Matter of Justice
  5.   The Troll Bridge

The Troll Bridge

The proof is on the way to me for a review, and once I approve it, I can make it available to anyone who wants it. Hopefully there will be someone who wants to read it.  I am hoping that it will be available by December 10.  I think it is a good story.