Archive for July 6th, 2009


She’s beautiful, athletic and brilliant.   She’s well-educated and well-traveled, with more adventures under her belt than anyone I’ve ever known.

She leads an exciting, romantic and danger-filled life, and up until now her exploits have been a guarded secret known only to a handful of people.

Her name is Layla Daltry, and not only do I want her life, I wish to God I could become Layla.  This despite the cold hard fact that she isn’t real.

Layla is the hero of my novel The Compass Master, and it hurts like hell that she’s leading the life I should have had.  When I was writing my book and turning her loose like a wild thing into its chapters, I never suspected that this strange, frustrating, even painful longing in me would be the result.  But there you have it.  I want to step into Layla Daltry’s skin and live the life I gave her.

Of course that seems impossible.  But now I wonder — what if?

To be like Layla — a bigger-than-life creature, a woman hell-bent on solving a complex ancient mystery — you would have to become the kind of person who can survive the task.  You would need many special skills.  You would need all of your intelligence and a healthy intuition.  You must become more athletic and agile.

But let’s just say I rise to the challenge.  Let’s say I’m willing to embark on a one-year plan to toughen myself up physically and mentally.  That over the next twelve months I’ll find people who can teach me the skills I need, that I’ll hone my intuition with psychological exercises, that I’ll study languages and archeology and more history.  If I take on all of these challenges, what will I be like one year from now?

Well, I’m about to find out, because as of today I’m launching my plan.

I’m about to become Layla Daltry.