Original artwork by Emilio Lovisa

In between writing novels and novellas, there’s the occasional spark of an idea. Stories that come to me out of nowhere, situations that involve characters I know very well, or completely new characters who are only visiting for a short while. These ‘Solos’ are their stories, told only by me ( in contrast to those I write with The Black which are Duets). Though some will involve recurring characters, they won’t be a series per se because I can only promise as much continuity as happens naturally to me. If a story continues, that’s great, but fair warning that it may not. This is where I plan to experiment with different genres, so don’t be surprised if some of the Solos are very un-Nia Forrester-like.

I hope you enjoy!

The Solos:

Solo #1: In Forty-Six, we see Lorna Terry on the morning of her birthday, wondering whether she is as immune as she thought to the aging process.

Solo #2: In Better Left Unsaid, a young woman considers whether to reveal an almost certainly devastating secret she’s kept from her best friend for years.

Solo #3: In Another Life, a girl and her sister move to a new town after their father’s death. This was the beginning of something I wrote under a pen name for Chainbooks, when I was toying with the idea of writing YA fiction.

Solo #4: In Performance a woman of a certain age, a former party girl, contemplates her future and reflects on whether she’s made the right choices for her life, including the decision to forgo marriage.

Solo #5: In Bright, Young Things, a small-town detective begins to unravel the mystery of a missing girl in a small community that harbors dark secrets. This was the beginning of one of my YA books that I never finished.

Solo #6: A woman unobtrusive to everyone around her considers the secrets of her neighbors to help solve a murder, in People You Don’t See. From when I considered what it might be like to write a murder mystery.

Solo #7: In The Freshman Fifteen, a shy college freshman loses her only friend unexpectedly.

Solo #8: In Stalemate, Lorna Terry, dedicated feminist, learns that her relationship theory of Non-Attachment may not be as easily practiced as it used to be.

Solo #9: In Life Plan, Josh is driving across country with a girl who answered his posting on the shared ride board at his college to take the long trek from Oakland to Washington DC. Dylan is pretty, funny and has a job waiting for her working for a congressman. She seems a lot more together than Josh himself and he is impressed with her until, gradually, as the hours pass and she becomes more comfortable, begins to reveal secrets about herself, each more disturbing than the previous, leaving Josh wondering whether he will even make it to his destination.

Solo #10: Dale’s arch-nemesis when she was a teenager was Jordan, a strangely mature, vindictive girl who was later killed in a car accident. Now, many years later, Dale meets Tina, who not only bears a striking resemblance to Jordan, but has many of the same disturbing characteristics as well. As Dale grows more and more convinced that Tina is, inexplicably, Jordan, her life (and maybe her grip on reality) begins to unravel, in Tricks of Light, my only attempt at paranormal fiction, which I never finished.

Solo #11: About a year ago, a friend of a friend of mine visited her cousin in Brazil for what was to have been a week. During that week, she managed to “steal” her cousin’s fiancée, marry him and move back to the States where they now live with their new baby. The story so fascinated me, that I tried to imagine in fiction how such a thing could be pulled off, and how one would live with having done such a thing. That led to me beginning this story, Steal Him Away.

Solo #12: Brittany works the late shift at the only all-night convenience store in her small town. Through her job she witnesses the idiosyncrasies of the town inhabitants and learns her fair share of secrets – like who’s having an affair or drinking way too much. When a young college co-ed has goes missing and is presumed dead, Brittany plays an idle game with Josh, one of her co-workers; they speculate that there may be a killer among their neighbors.  But as she and Josh begin to perceive hints of a dark side to many of their neighbors’ harmless peccadilloes, they wonder whether the person responsible for the co-ed’s disappearance may not in fact be as everyone in town assumes, a stranger. This was going to be a murder-mystery titled . . . you guessed it, Stranger.

Solo #13: Thirty-Seven Days is another YA piece I wrote awhile back but never completed. Hayley Fields lives in a privileged world of private schools, European vacations and wealthy pop stars who simply are your friends’ parents. When one of her schoolmates is abducted and raped and then miraculously recovered alive after thirty-seven days, Hayley’s near-idyllic world is opened just a crack. Soon, some of life’s harsher realities begin to make that crack a fissure. Her  best friend’s eating disorder, news of a parent’s extra-marital affair and an on-campus suicide all conspire to teach her lessons about life she would have preferred not to have known.

Solo #14: In In the Nothing, Trinity, daughter of a heroin addict and unknown father starts thinking about building a life outside of the housing projects where she lives, and begins to take the first cautious steps to get it.

Solo #15:  Still Here. Death was not at all what Sophia expected. There are no bright lights, spirit guides or feelings of well-being. Instead there is weightlessness, timelessness and a sense of being connected at all times to people who were important in her mortal life. She waits and expects to be taken somewhere else, but no one comes and finally she realizes why she is still here. Her attacker is planning his next murder and it is her job to keep it from happening.

Solo #16: In Paper House, Annie lives a charmed life in a city she loves, with friends and a full social calendar. In the same city, her sister Lori lives as well. But Lori is a schizophrenic and Annie has told few of her friends she even has a sibling. But when Lori gets pregnant and moves in with her, Annie must confront the reality of her own superficial life and learn the true meaning of family.

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