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Why did he call her Little Dove? (click here)

Two bits of feedback I get quite a bit about the book Little Dove are, one--why does Stephen Otis call Etta, "Little Dove?" and two, why didn't I give more back story and foreshadowing about that crazy dude. So, here goes....

First of all, regarding the name "Little Dove," I find it creepy as hell that he would have a term of endearment for her (his victim) at all. I'm not exactly sure what serial killer etiquette is when addressing their victims, but for me, something that would sound sweet coming from someone else, yet dripping with malice from him, was what I was shooting for. I also wanted the scene of Etta sing-songing it back to him (when she identified him) to be a pretty heavy moment. As far as why readers are not told why he called her that, and not giving them more of his backstory, the answer is simple. The story was told from Etta's POV. It would not have been authentic to her character to have any of his backstory or any insight as to why he chose that term. That's it. That's the reason. The scenes with the logger would have lost some of their impact if he had paused his attack in order to explain his terminology.

Now, on to why I didn't foreshadow Stephen Otis as a serial killer (such as having a news report on the TV in the bar about a bunch of missing women, for example.) It was really important to me that the logger fly under the radar. I wanted him to walk among everyone (except Etta) completely undetected because in real life, people like him don't carry around signs or wear scarlet letters. The idea that nobody suspected his psycho-ness makes it all the more chilling to me. Also, I like for a story to unfold as you read it. That is why I am purposely vague when writing my blurbs, and why I cringe whenever a reviewer lays out the whole story in their spoiler-y review. I want Dallas to be a mystery until it's time for him not to be. I want Etta's gift to invite skepticism before revealing the accuracy of it. I want the reader to look back and think, oh yeah, now that makes sense.

So, there it is. I love giving insight to my thought process and why I make the choices I do, so if you have thoughts, questions, ideas, rants, concerns, or anything else--I would love to hear from you!



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