Saturday, April 16, 2011

LIGHT BRINGER by Pat Bertram

Light Bringer began as a mental image of a night scene. A nurse comes home after working a double shift at the hospital. Her porch light illuminates newly fallen snow, which at first seems untouched, pristine. Gradually the nurse becomes aware of tracks leading to the stoop where a creature huddles against the door. She creeps close and discovers a baby. But who left it there? The tracks -- the only tracks besides her own -- are tiny footprints, baby footprints in the snow.
That was all I had. I knew the baby was special. Little more than an infant, she was already walking, and though she started out not knowing how to talk, she learned to speak within a few days. The nurse had seen a bright star on the way home, so she assumes (or pretends to assume) the baby is an angel come to earth. But who is she, really? And where did she come from?
Since this was to be a story debunking UFO myths, I figured she had to come from some place on earth where flying saucers could have originated. Perhaps her people came from beneath the sea, or maybe from the poles. Either way, I needed a name for these exalted beings. And I needed a name for the baby.
When the nurse asks the baby who she is, the baby struggles to form the word, and finally says, “Rena.”
I chose “Rena” for the sound of it. I wanted something both simple and alien (oddly, I have since come across a lot of Rena's, as if the name were out there for the plucking). Mostly, I wanted it to be a fraction of a word denoting a people. The nurse thinks Rena is the baby’s name, when in fact the baby was trying to convey her origins. These people were going to be the Ahk-rena -- again, a word I chose simply for the sound, though "simply" doesn't tell the story since I spent a couple of weeks coming up with the tag.
Originally, the story was going to be about the nurse and Rena on the run from shadowy government figures, but that aspect of the story never caught my attention. Rena had an invisible playmate who would warn them every time the agents got close, so where is the suspense in that?
I set the story aside, and went on to write three other novels, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. But through the years, those tiny footprints in the snow haunted me, and eventually I went back to the novel.

The story took a completely different turn when I found a better people for Rena. Since I now had more than a basic chase story, I no longer needed the baby and the nurse, so I shoved them into a prologue, fast-forwarded the story thirty-seven years to the grown up Rena, a woman living under an assumed name, who returns to Colorado, searching for the truth of her origins. And so Becka was born.

About Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s books: Light Bringer, Daughter Am I, More Deaths Than One, and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.  Bertram blogs about life, writing and the writing life at http://ptbertram.wordpress.com and is the moderator of two online discussion groups that help both new and experienced authors further develop their craft: No Whine, Just Champagne on Gather.com and Suspense/ThrillerWriters on Facebook.

27 comments :

  1. Interesting post. Nice to meet you Pat. I enjoyed learning how Light Bringer came about.

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  2. It's the best part of my job, Susanne, introducing authors to each other. Thanks for stopping by. Hope your weekend is terrific.

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  3. Hi, Susanne. I always meet such wonderful people through Joylene!

    Joylene, thank you for having me as a guest. I am honored.

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  4. Thanks for hosting Pat today, Joylene. I checked out her sites and am very impressed by what I read. I, too lost my life partner. It's wonderful to see she's able to work out her grief through her blog.

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  5. Great to have a glimpse of Pam's stories, and her own adventure. Nice meet you Pam (Joylene will tell you that I'm a regular at her blog, as she is at mine).

    Thanks Joylene!

    Grandpa
    Life on The Farm

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  6. @Hi Serena. Glad you could stop by. Sorry for your loss. I think you will find much comfort in Pat's blog.

    @Grandpa, it's always so nice seeing you. Hope you're enjoying your beautiful farm. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Hi Joylene & Pat. Light Bringer... what a cool title. It sounds like something I'd read. Blessings.

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  8. The blog is very good!
    Congratulations!
    http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com

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  9. Interesting the way you forged ahead and realized where the true story was. That's interesting. Wonder how many writers don't let themselves experiment or listen. Great to meet you, Pat.

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  10. @Samatha, hi. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Nelson, your blog is lovely. Thanks for visiting.

    @Michael, that's the best part of the internet, we are privy to so many fascinating writers.

    Have a great weekend, everyone.

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  11. I enjoyed reading about how your writing came about Pat. It's so nice to meet you and hear about your writing developments. Thanks Joylene for such an interesting post.

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  12. Hi Susan. How are you? I keep meaning to ask if you know Carole Anne Carr? She's from the UK and writes for children, too. Not sure why exactly, but I see a lot of similarities between you. Hope you get a chance to visit her blog:
    http://caroleannecarr.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day.

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  13. Hi there Joylene,
    How's it goin' eh? Just practising for my imminent arrival to British Columbia. Gosh, all those parades for me :)
    Anyway, it's really good to see you share this information on Pat Bertram and I shall have a further check on her writing. 'Light Bringer' seems like it would be a most intriguing read. So nice to see how you bring authors together and interact via your site. Most inspiring.
    Take care.
    Gary :)

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  14. I'm happy to introduce you to Pat's work, Gary. She's quite an incredible writer. It also gives me a chance for her to meet you. Double whammy.

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  15. I'm so delighted that all of you stopped by to read about how Light Bringer came into being.

    Serena, I am so sorry about the death of your life partner. It always breaks my heart to hear of another person taking that lonely and terrible journey into grief.

    Grandpa, nice meeting you, too.

    Samantha, thank you.

    Michael, sometimes finding the story is harder than writing it. The true story for a couple of my other novels came all at once, but Light Bringer was different. It took me many years of research to find the heart of the story.

    Susan, so nice to meet you! Joylene is wonderful at bringing people together.

    Gary, so far people have been kind enough to say how much they like Light Bringer. It's nice to meet you.

    Joylene, thank you again for having me as a guest. It's always a joy.

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  16. It's always great having you here, Pat. Come back any time. Have a wonderful tour.

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  17. Hey Pat.

    You really seem to demonstrate the most important quality a writer can have: persistence. The ability to push ahead despite the many hurdles is extremely admirable.

    Congratulations on your new book.

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  18. Thanks for stopping by, Martha. Pat, Martha has a wonderful book called Growing Great Characters from the Ground Up. She also has a literary novel called The Wind Thief.

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  19. Thanks for the introduction to Pat, Joylene! The cover of Light Angel is eye-catching. I may check these books out. :)

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  20. I'm so glad you could stop by, Karen. Have a wonderful week.

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  21. I love the cover of Light Bringer! I'm so inspired by how the novel finally developed. I have a story I love but pushed aside because it's not quite right. Maybe I'll figure that one out someday. :)

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  22. I hope you're able to, Amanda. That's what it's all about, never given up. Unless ...

    I did shelf one of my stories because it couldn't be saved. I guess that's half the battle, knowing when to quit.

    Have a wonderful week.

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  23. Thank you for stopping by! I really do appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment...I read each and everyone of them. I hope your day is a good one and that you will come back again soon. Take care. Nelson Souzza :)

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  24. Nel, your blog is beautiful. Sadly, my Spanish isn't so good. But I loved the article on Carlos' work. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  25. How interesting to hear how this story developed in your creative mind. I can tell the story haunted you until you could get it down on paper. Great job. Congratulations on the book's release! Thanks, Joylene, for introducing us to Pat.

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  26. Hi JQ. Thanks so much for stopping by. Meant to tell you I love your profile pic. You, young lady, look great in red.

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