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September 23, 2006

Rebecca Drake's Debut Guest Blog

It's Called Imagination

by guest blogger Rebecca Drake                   Cover Image

"Where do you get your ideas?"

Most of the time, I politely sidestep this chestnut, explaining that it isn't ideas that are hard, but corralling them into an orderly plot. Of course, the truth is that writers don't have to search for ideas, we just think a certain way. It should be a recognized medical condition, something for which we could claim a tax deduction or receive disability.

Case in point: When we met 20 years ago I was so attracted to my future husband that I figured something had to be wrong. I waited for him to announce that he was gay or that he was entering the priesthood or possibly both. Fast forward to the stage where we had keys to each other's places.  He lived on the top-floor of a three-story walk-up in New Jersey. Clearly a bachelor's pad, complete with a neon Iron City beer sign in the kitchen. Every room was completely furnished except for the large, wide room you saw as soon as you entered the apartment. It was just a smooth expanse of bare, hardwoord floors with curtains at the windows.

I asked him why, but he just shrugged. Once I saw a half-burned pillar candle sitting on the floor and he explained that there'd been a power outage the night before.

So, one afternon I was happily ridding his closet of disco-era souvenirs to donate to a clothing drive, when I suddenly found a long, hooded, shiny black robe.

In a flash, I knew it all. He wasn't a gay priest, he was a follower of Satan! It all made sense now--the empty room, the candle. This was where he carried out his rituals. He was probably slaughtering chickens on the weekends. My God, he was trying to lure me in to his cabal!

I knew that I would have to confront him, but not over the phone. I paced until he came home, then I took his hand, looked deep into his eyes and said, "I know."

He smiled.  "Know what?"

"I know the truth."

"Um, you're going to have to give me a hint here," he said. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I found it in your closet."

"You found the truth in my closet?" He laughed as he said it.  Funny man. He wouldn't be laughing for long.

I led him slowly over to the closet. Then I opened the door and whipped out the robe.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe swooning with shock as he saw his secret life exposed.  What I wasn't expecting was boredom.

"Yeah. So? Do you think I should give that away?"

"I know you're a Satanist."

"A what?"

"Sa-ta-nist. Follower of Satan. You can stop lying."

This time he did swoon, but it turned out he was laughing. Very hard. "I'm not a Satanist," he said, wiping tears from his eyes, "but I'm beginning to wonder what planet you're from."

Ha, ha. "How do you explain this?" I shook the robe and he started laughing again.

"It's a Halloween costume!"

In the end he had to pull out photos of the costume party to prove it.

Today he likes to tell people that despite 20 years of established trust I could be convinced he was a serial killer in less than five minutes. I say, don't leave the knives out unless you want me to think something funny's going on.

The Lipstick Chronicles is pleased to introduce you to Rebecca Drake, whose debut thriller, DON'T BE AFRAID was published by Pinnacle in September and is available in stores now.

Check out Rebecca's contribution to the blog Working Stiffs.


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I have a blue robe, I wonder what that makes me???

Great to have you with the Book Tarts, Rebecca! Your book is a real chiller.--Suspenseful from the get-go. I'm wondering if your husband was the inspiration for various threads of the story??

Hey Rebecca - great to see you here - and a great story too.

One of my boyfriends had a big empty room like that. I later discovered it was for broom hockey. No kidding. He left the biggest room in his house empty so he and his pals could bash eachother around while pretending to play a game with sticks and balls.

And Dave - I think it depends on the fabric and the accessories. Satin or terrycloth? Flip flops or bunny slippers? It's all in the details.

Dave, I have to agree with Kathy that it's all in the details. Give us a hint...

Thanks for the welcome, Nancy! I lurk here all the time, but it's nice to come out of the shadows.

Kathy, your bf's room made me laugh out loud. I think it probably falls under Man Law somewhere.

Becky, I have to know. What WAS the empty room all about? (Mine's for yoga.)

Nothing. The empty room was about nothing at all. He had no furniture for that space, so it was empty.

I once suggested that he buy some furniture and he looked at me as if I'd grown another head. He had (still has) a thing for living with less--unless that less means doing without the latest computer or other techno gadget. For those, there's always room.

Actually, I like those, too, so it works for me.

If I had an empty room, it wouldn't take long to fill up---with books!

Becky: I love your story of the black robe. What a hoot. What does it mean when you find a pair of heels in your husband's closet? Just kidding.

Great post, Becky! Now I know why you make an excellent thriller writer. Suspicious minds, you know.

Finding heels means he's having a more interesting social life than I am! LOL!

What a great story. And how true. About once a year I find myself looking sideways at my nice, even-tempered, child psychiatrist of a husband and wondering. . . . I mean, all those women married to serial killers never thought it of their husband. And the neighbors always say, "he was so nice and polite."

I think there must be a gene for morbid imagination.

Blue Terrycloth during our freezing Florida winter, light blue robe in the summer.

Barefoot when in the house, brown mocassin when I have to step out of the house.

SO funny!

Dave- that sounds pretty normal, except for the use of the word freezing when describing Florida winters.

That alone might get you a second look from the NSA, my friend.

Rebecca - I forgot to tell everyone how great your publication party was - tons of people, lots of books sold - a great kickoff for you!

Well, Dave's robes do sound normal, but then again, he could mean that he ONLY wears these two robes.

Maybe it's his own little revenge against a society that insists he dress a certain way to fit in. Maybe he tried the whole nudist colony thing and being sensitive to the cold it just didn't work. So he did the next best thing and picked his favorite color and his favorite fabric. Maybe he's known locally as "Robe Man," or "Crazy Robed Guy" or "Blue Robe." Maybe schoolchildren dare each other to ring his doorbell to get a look at him...

Hmm. That explains those black candles in your closet.

And the goat head.

When did this happen???

I just finished "Don't Be Afraid" and I can't wait for your next book!
You kept me guessing til the very end,and that's not easy to do.
Hurry with the next one!

Lori Callei

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thank you!

My name's Rebecca Drake! ...you've been married for 20 years and I've been alive for 20 years...I guess that means you had the name first. Have you been enjoying it?

Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rebecca, i am doing wide reading for english at school. I have read your book and loved it so much. Can you please tell me if you have won any awards for dont be afraid?
My name is also rebecca drake :) creepy ae

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