Message From The Author

Author's Message

Wild at Heart

In 1893, birdwatchers in Ontario stumble on a "lost man" dressed in rags and skins, apparently incapable of speech. Captured, caged and returned to civilization, this adult "wild child" becomes the unwilling study subject of scientists eager to learn what a truly "natural" human is like, maybe even solve the evolutionary mystery of nature vs. nurture.

This man lived most of his life in the wild, ate bugs and raw meat, had wolves for friends, cut off from humans. At a Chicago university he was studied like a slide under a microscope-miserably unhappy, desperate to escape. Until he encountered the lead anthropologist's daughter, a kind and gentle young widow able to see past the wildness to the fear and loneliness inside.

I usually kill off my heroines' parents or otherwise make them absent, but this time I gave the heroine a complete family, including two brothers and an old maid aunt. That way my "lost man" gets a support group, and the job of socializing and educating him doesn't fall to only one person.

Naturally, there had to be a villain or two. How about a sadistic guard who bullies the hero and leers at the heroine? Oh, and how about a rejected suitor, a guy with a chip on his shoulder?

What I liked about writing this book was the opportunity for role reversal. Usually, the hero has the power, at least in the beginning. My lost man is about as vulnerable as a man can be, and it's up to the heroine to protect him. Even more fun, it's up to her to teach him how to make love. She's had experience and he hasn't.

I had a great time writing this book. It's got a little of everything-humor, heartache, danger and grand passion.

You can write to Patricia Gaffney either at pgaffney@cvn.net or at P.O. Box 672, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214.


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