In writing The Gypsy Pall, I told myself I am qualified to write this novelette. After all, I know gypsies. I come from a line of Bohemian gypsies on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. I also hail from a line of Appalachian folks who somewhere along the line courted and married Native Americans on my paternal grandfather’s side. And, some of them became farmers. So, I have it covered: mysterious exotic gypsies, simple country farmers, magical Appalachian folk. Yes, I am a mutt; it’s okay. The characters in the novel represent several cultures.
I also know love, as every lucky person does. Not the flowery, send-me-a-card, call-me-every-minute kind of love necessarily, but the “I’ll stay with you even when it’s difficult” kind of love. In the novelette, Amos Hay loves his wife, Martha. He continues to love her through her obsession with sex for several reasons. First of all, he has a commitment to her which he does not take lightly. Secondly, and probably most importantly, he knows her obsession is his fault. He brought the condition on her through his visit to the gypsy.
I didn’t know a great deal about the dust bowl days. I had to research the time period. Interestingly, I discovered that the dust bowl days did not result in every farm in the Midwest being blown away. Some places were hit harder than others. It was a combination of man-made and natural disasters. Bad farming practices combined with drought conditions led up to the worst storm on Black Sunday, April 14, 1935, with 60 mph winds and a cloud of dust that looked like a wall of black descending on the plains. The Gypsy Pall is set in a time prior to the worst part of the dust bowl days.
I liked that the phrase “Dirty Thirties” could be a double-entendre.
And, though I’m not sure I should admit it, I know sex. Of course, I researched this steamy subject with my sexy husband. It required lots and lots of practical hands-on research. Naturally. And the really odd stuff came from my imagination.
I liked the element of blameless bad behavior. Who wouldn’t want guilt-free sex? What could be more guilt-free than being released from accountability for your actions because they are the result of a hex? Amos realizes this toward the end of the novelette and succumbs to the lure of guiltless passion.
There is no detail given of the incantations involved in the “pall” cast by the gypsy or the “doings” of the Widow Teague. We wouldn’t want to accidentally trigger such events, would we? This is said with extreme tongue-in-cheek.
Can a scene be sexy if it’s weird? I hope so! I set out to write a book that presents erotica in a different way. I hope I succeeded with The Gypsy Pall.