When psychotherapist Zoe LaGuardia falls for a man at The Graveyard, her decades-buried trauma crawls from its crypt. Her flashbacks return with increasing intensity as she comes to realize he’s the man her client murdered four years ago.
The Story Behind the Story
The idea for the story came to me during a conversation with a friend of mine who’s a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She mentioned having a client who was uninsured and could not pay, and explained to me why she treated this person pro bono.
That conversation served as inspiration. The story itself is pure fiction. Basically, it’s what happens when a writer’s mind keeps asking, “What if?”
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a friend who’s a LICSW when you’re researching your protagonist who happens to have the same credential!
The Story Behind the Writing
I began writing Halloween Knight a while back and by February of 2014 I had a complete, albeit rough, draft. I let that mellow until May when I picked it back up and began, in earnest, to hammer out a serious draft. From May to October I went through two rounds of rewrites (and a MEGA-TON of research) and at last completed a respectable first draft on Halloween night, 2014. Coincidence!
(There are no coincidences.)
I spent November 2014 through January 2015 polishing my work. In February of 2015 I began my search for a literary agent.
Halloween Knight is several layers deep. The surface story follows Zoe, a 38-year-old psychotherapist specializing in crisis counseling. Zoe is the survivor of a brutal attack. Her own assault trauma two decades earlier inspired her career. Recently, her flashbacks have resurfaced. They’re worse than they’ve ever been. Worse than they were during her first year of recovery. She’s baffled by their return.
She thought she’d worked though the post-trauma twenty years ago. But there was something she missed. Something she never shared with her therapist—because she had suppressed it. Now it’s threatening her sanity. Zoe must confront her dark past, or lose her mind.
Zoe’s not so good at helping herself. She’s good at helping others, though.
Enter Abel Knight. He needs help. He was murdered four years ago and cannot “move on” until someone finds his remains and brings his killer to justice. The woman who murdered him is one of Zoe’s clients.
On a deeper level, Abel’s story parallel’s Zoe’s. As Zoe helps free Abel from the limbo he’s been languishing in, she’s also freeing the ghost of her own dark past. The closer she gets to solving his murder, the closer she gets to unearthing the one thing about her past trauma that she’s never told anybody—not even herself.