In the Eye of the Beholder: Guest post by D. J. Adamson, author of Admit to Mayhem

Today, I’m happy to welcome D. J. Adamson, author of Admit to Mayhem, to my notebook, talking a bit about what makes writing good. Her book definitely sounds like one I would enjoy.

In the Eye of the Beholder

by D. J. Adamson

What is good and what is not good when it comes to writing is really up to the reader. And, what is read is not read is sometimes left to destiny. Thus, those who like to put a pen to paper need to do so without expectations.

Art created for the sake of art becomes the most honest and gratifying work. Case in point: There have been many authors who did not see great enthusiasm for their work. Franz Kafka had a day job and saw little of his work heralded. At his death, he asked for his work to be destroyed. Thankfully, no one listened. What would literary life be without a man turning into a cockroach! Emily Dickinson didn’t publish much before her death, but they found 1800 publishable poems in her closet, which we are still reading and pondering over. They were found in shoe boxes. It figures. Melville was not liked in his circle of friends– No Moby Dick?–nor was Nathaniel Hawthorne truly respected for his literary genius during his lifetime. Yet, the A in The Scarlet Letter is still a much discussed subject by students and teachers. A for Able instead of Adulteress? Edgar Allen Poe, Jane Austen, this list could be lengthy.

But, those are all old writers….and be assured I do not compare myself to them. I am not an A-list writer. I am a B-list author.

Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifetime romance.” A Latin proverb tells us to “Keep adding little by little and you will soon have a big hoard.” Even though I published my first poem at the age of twelve, I hardly ever showed my art to my family or friends. The expectations of both acceptance and rejection were far too frightening. I published off and on in literary journals, and barely peeked to take a look. But I wrote and wrote and wrote and stacked work in my closet for one day when. Am I a bestseller? Only my readers know. Will I be rich? I already am. I am writing.

It hasn’t been until my later years that destiny brought me around to putting my work bravely out. I chose to self-publish not wanting to waste another moment. Admit to Mayhem, the first in the Lillian Dove Series came out in September. Another Mystery/Syfy serial, Outré, Part One of The Deviation is launching this spring. While my journey did not come to the place where I was traveling until now, I have no regrets.

I write for the love of writing and leave the destiny of printed pages where they should always be…in the eye of the reader.

Follow your unknown path, with its twists and turns, on a journal short or long. It’s the road that is the adventure!

In the Eye of the Beholder: Guest post by D. J. Adamson, author of Admit to MayhemAdmit to Mayhem by D.J. Adamson
Series: Lillian Dove #1
Published by Horatio Press on September 15, 2014
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 286
Purchase at
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With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control.

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

Book Excerpt:

My name is Lillian Dove. I am a recovering alcoholic, five years sober.

Five long years, yet the clink of ice in a glass still sets me on edge.

There is no graduation from alcoholism. Or life, for that matter. I am also addicted to Pepsi, chocolate, men, being afraid, being afraid of not being afraid, men—again–and my independence, co-dependence and unsettling ability to fail no matter my attempt. There are other compulsions and bad habits, but I can’t think of them right now. Memory loss, see? And I obsess on how much I forget, if I remember. Giving up alcohol turned out to be easier than changing some of my other behaviors.

Especially my bad judgment when it comes to men. The type of man I’m most attracted to is like a tall, Tom Collins on a sweltering, summer day:  gin, a little lemon–but not too sour—with sweet syrup and bubbly soda.  It’s hard to resist, even if I know it’s not good for me.

I’ve pledged a Tom-Collins-abstinence.

Yet, Chief Charles Kaefring began offering me his attention. I thought my sobriety realigned my sexual magnetism. I was attracting a different type.

He started coming to my desk to tell me he was leaving and instructed me to send all his calls to his assistant. At first I couldn’t figure out why he thought I needed this instruction. I already transferred his calls as a manner of routine. Then a week after making sure I was aware of his whereabouts, I bumped into him lakeside at Louise’s Italian Kitchen.

Louise’s is my Friday night routine. I celebrate making it through another week.  One spaghetti dinner at a time.

After that Friday night, I saw him at Louise’s every week. If he got there before me, I’d see him glancing toward the entry as if waiting for me to arrive. If I got there first, I’d pretend I never expected him to show up–which was the truth. Each and every time he arrived, I was flabbergasted.

I wasn’t sure what was starting up between the two of us or who started it. I mean, how could a man like him seriously be interested in me?

And even after weeks came and went, I still didn’t trust him. At each dinner he’d ask if I’d like wine with my meal. “Of course,” I’d say, letting my glass set without drinking it. If he worried the wine wasn’t good, I’d bring the glass to my lips, without sipping. I figured if he knew I had a drinking problem, he’d beat the hell out of there. Eventually though, he stopped asking if I wanted wine and only ordered one glass instead of two.

Still, he kept showing up.

I knew I was starting to slip into a situation that could toss my sobriety into the toilet, but meeting for dinner didn’t seem like backsliding into emotional drunkenness. Although, it never feels like slipping until you find yourself in a ragged heap of discontent.

Our routine altered when on a Sunday afternoon he telephoned giving me a weather report. He said the day was hot and getting hotter. He said he was putting a steak on the barbecue, and he just happened to have two.  Are you hungry?

About D.J. Adamson

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

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