The Fractured Hues of White Light is an emotional journey that explores who we love and why we love them. Mother, father, daughter, siblings, lovers, spouses, and friends; it's all love in some form. It is a story about Samantha Ryder, a young autistic woman who is an artist; it is because of her handicap that she often fails to articulate her emotions with an appropriate demonstration. Ironically, the ‘normal people' who surround her are just as incapable of communicating their feelings, creating a sense of isolation full of things left unsaid. Samantha's uncanny artistic ability is limited to being a novelty after her father encouraged her to copy the greatest hits of art history for a wealthy clientele. For years, she has filled sketchbooks with drawings that she feels mean nothing, yet they mean everything. Within the abstract scribbles are the portraits of the people who she loves; the quirk of her disability is how she is very aware of the emotions of her loved ones. They love her with unconditional bonds that vary in degrees; her mother Lenore's maternal nurturing is sorely missed after her death when Sammy was six. Her father, Whitley, is a possessive narcissist, but his heart is always in the right place. Memories of the protective love of her father's stepson, Guthrie, filtered into her adolescent fantasies. Her half-sister, Helena, exhibits a lackadaisical tolerance and irritable impatience, yet offers a clinging-vine possessiveness in spite of herself. The lingering romantic feelings of her friend and former lover, Sylvester, manifest in his boundless patience; their continued friendship stands firm on a foundation of trust. When Samantha agreed to marry Preston Ackerman, she initially believed that she could learn to love him, but the empty bond between them causes her to emotionally lose ground. As their marriage falls apart, Preston becomes dangerous, forcing her to go on a journey of self-preservation away from the familiar security of home. Her escape threatens to be her undoing.
Laura gives an overview of the book:
To this day I still laugh at my misinterpretation when the doctor diagnosed me as autistic - I thought he said "artistic" - so I laughed and cried out, "I draw just like my Daddy!" But no one laughed with me; my mother cried, my father became indignant, and the doctor defensive. As my gaze rolled over the adult reactions - their faces so grim, not funny - I became confused because I didn't know what they were talking about - about me, so serious-and decided that I needed to adjust my response to reflect theirs - I need to be quiet - be seen not heard. With a cartoon character's flair for the dramatic, I mimed turning the key to my lips and flipping it over my shoulder just like Guthrie had taught me at Christmastime. Then my pencil went about the business of drawing - after all, I am artistic. But little picture's have ears-and my eyes didn't miss a thing, especially the emotions that sparkled in my mother's tear-filled eyes. My fixation with the emotional landscape of faces was always the quirky discrepancy of my being autistic - my drawings documented with intricate detail the people I loved best of all. The doctor thought this very unusual - puzzling, yet unique, he called me "special."
This book is my second published novel through my independent efforts as Field Stone Press, so I am naturally biased and will tell you straight out it's a good read for those of us who love the written word. I had my Fred design the cover using one of my small acrylic wash paintings entitled "Walking on the Sun" that I made specifically for the book. I wanted to keep it simple, and I wanted it to be bright...and most important, yellow is the favorite color of the main character, Samantha Ryder. The color yellow is significant throughout the book, such as a yellow beach umbrella that belonged to her mother and yellow flowers from her lover. Yellow is a challenging color for an artist to work with without it becoming muddied up with the other colors in a painting...and this book was challenging for me to write. In spite of the ups and downs that can happen while writing such a complex novel, I feel that it is a good thing, and well worth the hard work involved in making it happen. Thank you for reading me.
I am an independent author from Upstate New York. My husband, Fred Wellner, and I formed our own publishing company, Field Stone Press in June 2009 and have started a new chapter in our life together, writing and publishing darn good books. My debute novel is Dusty Waters...