The World Through My Eyes

thumb_IMG_1225_1024

The fifth book in the Adam Kaminski mystery series will come out this summer. I am so excited to share it with you! I’ve spent the past two years working on this book that looks at the world through the eyes of a photographer, while also telling the story of a cruise in which everyone is pretending to be someone they’re not.

One of the things I enjoy most about writing is the opportunity to look at the world through other peoples eyes. Because my series has one main character– Adam Kaminski – who always finds someone to help him out, I have the pleasure of creating a new point-of-view character for each book (that is, a character whose thoughts you, the reader, get to hear.)

In this book my second leading character is Julia Kaminski, sister to Adam. Julia has appeared in most of the other books in the series, so I’m not creating her from scratch. But this is the first time I’m writing from her perspective, describing the world through her eyes. In this case, the eyes of a photographer. There can be no doubt, we all see the world a little bit differently.

 

A-Pale-Reflection-Web-Small
A very blurry suggestion of the cover for A Pale Reflection  – the world as I might see it!

Personally, I’ve been wearing glasses since I was five (and probably needed them before that). The world through my eyes looks very different. Terribly near-sighted, without my glasses I see blurs of color without distinct shapes. Every pin prick of light becomes a giant, glowing snowflake. It’s actually quite beautiful! As long as I don’t need to see clearly. These days, I wear bifocals, so I get two different views of the world depending how I hold my head! (And does anyone hate progressive bifocals as much as I do? I couldn’t stand them.)

As an aside, I recently saw a video about very young children – one year or younger – getting glasses and being able to see their mothers’ faces clearly for the first time. The expression of joy on their faces was indescribable. How the doctors were able to figure out a) that they needed glasses and b) what their prescription was I have no idea. But it is remarkable.

 

IMG_3813
Bifocal and near vision only – just two of the many pairs of glasses in my life!

My husband, on the other hand, is farsighted. How strange! After a lifetime of holding things next to my face to read them, I can’t imagine only being able to see clearly when things are far away. The world he sees is very different from the world I see.

I’m pretty sure the same holds true for reading. I write a book and let it out into the world. Now it’s up to the reader to see whatever he or she sees in it. I love hearing other peoples perspectives of my books — don’t get me wrong — but I admit there are times when I hear someone describing one of my characters and I think: can’t I just give you a prescription that lets you see it the way I see it?

A Pale Reflection, my book about seeing the world – and other people – clearly, comes out this summer. Check out my Facebook page or sign up for my newsletter at my website to see the full cover soon. And follow me on Instagram to see photos of my world. I hope my perspective of other people’s perspective will keep you entranced – and wondering who the killer is!

Adam-Kaminski-Mystery-Series

Who Saw That?

thumb_IMG_1225_1024

Julia Kaminski, sister to the hero of the Adam Kaminski mystery series, is a photographer. A good one. She’s still figuring out how to make a living in her chosen profession. In an ideal world, she’d earn her money by showing and selling her photographs at galleries. But until that happens, she’s getting by by taking on gigs as a photographer at wedding or parties. And still holding out for her big break.

Julia’s photographs take on new meaning in book 5 in the series, A Pale Reflection. Julia finally gets a leading role, after appearing as a side character in the first four books, and jumps into the chance to use her photographic skills to help her brother Adam figure out whodunnit.

27591728_Unknown

The thing about photographs is they capture more than you might realize. You, the tourist, for example, sees a beautiful scene and snap a shot. It may only be later, as you go back to look through the photographs, that you notice someone or something in the picture you hadn’t previously realized was there. Or someone watching when you thought you were alone.

27599568_Unknown

In my family, my husband is the photographer. We just had the amazing opportunity to spend a glorious week in Rome. (Will Adam Kaminski be solving a murder in Rome in the near future? Stay tuned!).

Chuck, my husband, takes spectacular photographs of traditional scenes — statues, artwork, natural beauty and urban beauty. But he also finds joy in surprising details. For example, catching an unexpected eye.

IMG_3708

For us, it’s fun. We use these photographs to share our experiences with friends and family and to refresh our own memories of the time we spent there. And if we were trying to catch a killer, the “mouth of truth” pictured here would be a huge help!

IMG_6641

Of course, we’re not trying to solve a murder. For Julia and Adam, a photograph can mean so much more. Even the difference between life and death.

IMG_6700

Learn more about Jane Gorman and the Adam Kaminski mystery series at janegorman.com or follow her on Facebook. For some great photographs of Rome and her other travels, check out her Instagram page!

Adam-Kaminski-Mystery-Series

On the Trail of Inspiration

Some of my friends here think I’m crazy. Not because I’m any more peculiar than most people in Truth or Consequences—that would be more difficult than the odd thing they question, which is running at noon. In the desert. In July.

It’s much more pleasant than it sounds, though it would have been hell in June before the rains came. Now the temperatures are in the upper eighties or low nineties, with a few little storm systems flirting with the mountains, and no one around except the quails and jackrabbits and lizards. Snakes are hiding from the midday sun, and all the humans are out on the lake. That’s the way I like it. Not that I have anything against snakes, but I prefer not to meet them—or my own species—while I run. I want to be alone. It may look as if I’m only exercising, but actually, I’m writing.

With my train of thought taking a crooked path between lizard sightings and admiration of quail chicks, cacti and the rain-promising sky, I get creative. At the beginning of the run I pick a plot problem and turn my mind loose to play with it. Something about the free flow of running breaks mental dams. Key lines of dialog and important character goals arrive, ideas that refused to show up at my computer the night before. Snake Face has a lot of music in it, and all of those songs came to me on my favorite trail in Elephant Butte Lake State Park, complete with melodies no one will ever hear.

Over the past couple of years, someone has had the urge to make art along that trail. First, there was the miniature Stonehenge. Now there’s a spiral of pebbles presided over by a bulbous lava rock that looks like the Venus of Willendorf with a few too many endowments, and another that looks remarkably like a fluffed-up bird. The bird rock faces out, with its clutch of egg pebbles nearby. The fertility goddess squats on a large flat rock overlooking the spiral. All along the trail I keep noticing additional smaller arrangements, such as a square white rock placed in the center of the square red patch on a larger white rock. I find light green on dark green, bright yellow on dark brown and gold, all sorts of little rocks arranged on shape-and-color-compatible members of the community of stones marking the trail’s boundaries. These creations required time and thought and close observation.

As I wondered how long they took and try to picture the person behind them, a plot puzzle I was struggling with resolved itself. These little henges and heaps are going to find their way into the book in progress, perfectly suited to a certain character and his needs. Art meets art on the trail of inspiration.