Secret Writings Behind the Iconoclast Thriller Series
Posted on 01/11/2021 Mary Ann Poll
Mary Ann Poll: America’s Lady of Supernatural Thrillers
Member of Author Masterminds
Hello! I’m Mary Ann Poll, author of the four-part Iconoclast thriller series, and avid reader and researcher, especially if the topic is the supernatural.
The Iconoclast series was born through a series of outlines, writings, and musings. When I started writing, I thought my genre was going to be mysteries. But, that was not the case. I was so sure it was mysteries, I created Kat Tovslosky to be the one to solve the murders.
Not even my publisher knows that before Ravens Cove was an idea, I began a novel entitled, A Study of Evil. It was to be a real murder mystery with little to no supernatural undertones. The only similarity between A Study of Evil and what I eventually published is the main character, Kat.
For fun, here’s a scene from that never finished and never to be published manuscript:
A lone autumn leaf drifted to the ground from the willow outside Kat’s window. Fall had arrived, evidenced by mountains dressed in autumn’s hues of rusts, cranberry, and golds. Within weeks winter would descend on its frozen steed of snow, galloping across the next six months, leaving below zero temperatures and darkness in its wake. Kat let herself savor the deceptive security her warm, snug apartment offered against the outside world.
Alaska’s beauty and violence are never so visible as in the winter. Its beauty is never more than a glance away. Kat felt more than saw the grandeur of Alaska’s beauty every time she beheld the Chugach mountains awash in the brilliant pink palette of a winter’s sunset or the frost that fell like glittering snow after the freeze fog lifted its veil.
But Kat had always looked just as forward to winter’s implied threat as its breathtaking landscape. She was never more alive than when her physical or mental senses were challenged. In winter, a trip to the neighborhood grocer was enough to get the adrenaline pumping. The yearly ritual of driving in Anchorage’s first snow brought the survival instinct out in the seasoned residents. The majority of Anchorage drivers acquire amnesia from year to year; they forget that driving on ice and snow is different than driving on dry roads. Just getting to the intended destination without an accident requires an alert yet a calm mindset and the ability to divine another driver’s move. Kat saw this as a giant chess game; whoever captures the king of destination without incident wins.
Alaska’s weather had an even darker side. It had cost many lives. Once or twice a year, these tragedies were reported. Kat herself lost her first love to a hiking accident caused by the dramatic weather changes in Alaska’s mountains. Even in a large city like Anchorage that prides itself on all the modern conveniences, people die from exposure. Often, it was the homeless who could not or did not take advantage of the shelters provided to protect them. No matter how it happened, it was always a harsh reminder of nature’s cruelty.
Yes, Kat understood death caused by nature. It was non-discretionary and impersonal in its act, a violence that was usually a result of humanity’s witlessness. It was the unnatural act of man’s violence against man Kat could not fathom.
Until next time, I look forward to meeting with you, chatting with you, and discovering amazing books along the way.
The Secret Writings Behind the Iconoclast Thriller Series Whalers was first published with Readers and Writers Book Club: https://readersandwritersbookclub.com.