My guest today is Monica M. Brinkman, author of the compelling book The Turn of the Karmic Wheel. Monica and I met online a couple years ago, however, we didn’t get to know each other until recently. Monica is one of the authors who has an essay included in my new anthology 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back. You have to read her recollection of her stint as a singing telegram. . .it cracks me up every time I read it!
Monica believes in a humanitarian world, and her novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, reflects this belief. She is a member of the Missouri Writers Guild, hosts the It Matters Radio Show and is a columnist for A Touch of Karma on Authorsinfo.com. Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, 2 dogs and 5 cats.
She has been a tireless supporter for my anthology, hosting many of the contributing writers on It Matters. In fact, you can hear a recent show we did together at this link.
Think the world needs less greed and more humanitarianism? Monica’s creative speculative fiction, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, is a perfect fit.
The book is a combination of naturalism, horror, fantasy and gothic blended in a series of interconnected all-too-human stories of the lives of residents in a small college town. The characters are alive in this novel and the town they live in becomes as real to us as the air we breathe. Caught in self, circumstance and living in the netherworld between the two it is a fascinating, chilling story filled with wonderment.
Here is an excerpt from The Turn of the Karmic Wheel:
In the fifteen years Karman had worked at Raleigh Medical Center, eleven were in the Psych Unit, though they liked to refer to it as the Stress Unit. Yeah, stress all right, for the nurses and doctors. Many a time she had considered transferring to a different department but felt compelled to tend to the mentally ill. They shared something in common with her: they were all misfits of society.
Karman knew, at her age, she should be married, have a family, and be looking toward retirement. Guess it just wasn’t her destiny. She adored men. The problem was they did not seem to adore her. She had always been what her mother called a handsome woman. A handsome woman indeed. It was just another word for ugly. She realized who she was. So her black hair was short and frizzy curly. She wore thick Coke bottle glasses over her deep brown oval eyes, and her weight exceeded her frame by seventy pounds. Why didn’t men see beyond the outside of a woman? She had so much to give. If presented the opportunity, she would be the best wife in the world. Like that was going to happen anytime soon.
Seeing Bessie sleeping peacefully, Karman settled into the chair next to the hospital bed. Truth be told, she preferred staying with the patients in their rooms rather than sitting in the cold hallway watching some computer monitor. This was personal and allowed her to keep an eagle eye on things. Computers had their place, but she had much more faith in her own abilities than some confounded machine’s.
For a moment, Karman’s mind wandered to last night. It was the strangest thing. She had been in the kitchen feeding Stranger, her golden retriever, when she saw a young woman’s silhouette appear. No identifying features, just kind of misty and white, except for the eyes. Those eyes, so green and vivid, stared into her own, almost as though they saw into her very being. It startled her, yet she had no fear. In fact, it brought a calm, warm feeling to her body and mind. The woman didn’t speak to her – well not aloud anyway. In her mind, she distinctly heard: Do not fear me. Our paths shall meet soon. You will know who I am at that time. It is destined to be.
Karman closed her eyes, shook her head in bewilderment. When she looked again, the silhouette had disappeared. A moan from Bessie brought Karman back to the present. She rose and stood over Bessie’s bed until she was certain her patient was still asleep. Karman, with much tenderness, brushed her fingers across the woman’s’ forehead. A smile split her face. Compassion filled her heart. She was doing what she did best, caring for those who needed her. Little did the patients realize how much she needed them in return.