Colton’s debut novel made such an impact upon its release that Jill Allen from the Foreword Clarion Review awarded it five-stars and encouraged “anyone who enjoys the notion of taking a multidimensional, thought-provoking journey” to immediately order a copy of The Window Blind.
Patricia Colton reflects on The Window Blind in the first of her four-part series about her writing process and artistic integrity for the AuthorHouse Author’s Digest.
Reflections on The Window Blind: The Writing Process and Artistic Integrity
By Patricia Colton
In my novel, The Window Blind, the protagonists, two addicts from different generations, cross paths one night on a deserted beach. With their lives careening out of control, they are transported—through divine intervention—to another dimension without a proper name, a place only known by a number, 10-17.
And this is an intervention; divine or otherwise, these two characters, Caterina Cammino, a 35-year-old alcoholic, and Tyler Beck, an 18-year-old drug addict, find themselves in rehab, and while they resist like Amy Winehouse’s lyric, mentally protesting, “no, no, no,” because it’s a consciousness-based rehab, there is no escape.
Tyler, who had maintained a three-year period of sobriety before his lapse, arrives in 10-17 in a heroin-induced stupor and grief-stricken over the death of his friend and mentor, Robie. Caterina, however, enters this new world as her 17-year-old self, the age at which a combination of horrific events happened that precipitated her slide into alcoholism.
It’s a wild premise, I know, and to add to the complication, the characters’ Watchers, numen or otherworldly guides, tell them about the existence of yet another dimension, a “perfect” world called Thare (which is an anagram of Earth).
Why does the mind not always give us the good dream?
I’ve always been a science fiction/fantasy fan, but when I thought about how to create the alternate world of 10-17, I turned to the human mind in dreamtime for inspiration. In a dream, anything can happen: the dead can live again; if the dreamer is thirsty, a glass of water can magically appear to slake her thirst; she can fly like Peter Pan, and of course, she can also be chased by Captain Hook. Why does the mind not always give us the good dream?
Often the unconscious is like the scowling schoolmarm waving a ruler and screeching, “You must understand that, or,” with the ruler raised high, poised to strike, “you will get this.” Whack.
As in a dream, while in 10-17 the characters have magic accessible to them, literally at their fingertips: a tug on the Numla, an umbilical cord-like instrument located over their shoulders, can fly them to other places, and the mere touch of a Sprite, a brightly-colored, amoeba-like creature, can induce instant bliss.
I wanted to be careful about the magic, however; in the hands of two addicts, is access to magic analogous to handing them the keys to the proverbial candy store—or drugstore, or liquor store?
Instead of diversion, I wanted their use of magic to be reflective of their own self-empowerment.
Patricia Colton’s AuthorHouse Bibliography