Cynthia Hamilton


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Cynthia Hamilton

The Story Behind the Story: S.S. Bazinet “Dying Takes It Out of You”

When I started reading “Dying Takes It Out of You” by S.S. Bazinet, I was immediately mesmerized by Dory, the hard as flint protagonist fighting for his life. The opening scene runs at a gallop and we’re right there witnessing it as Dory struggles to break free.

Even though there’s such urgency in the opening chapter, Dory is able to start sharing his complex past as he navigates away from danger, or at least tries to. His thoughts about what is happening to him and all that has shaped him into what he is paint a deep, almost hypnotic portrait of a tortured soul with a cynical yet accepting wisdom that only comes from much suffering.

To say this story and its protagonist are unique is an understatement. Both are raw and rich, insightful and enduring. “Dying” is the first installment in Dory’s saga and I have been assured by the author that Dory is back in residence and demanding to be heard. Music to my ears!

It’s my great pleasure to give you the very creative S.S. Bazinet:

First of all, I want to acknowledge Cynthia Hamilton for recognizing the uniqueness of one of my characters. Her curiosity about Dory, the protagonist in DYING TAKES IT OUT OF YOU, prompted her to ask me to write about the story behind the story. She called Dory intriguing, complex and fascinating. My experience with the character backs up her observation. Dory is unlike any of my other characters.

So let’s start at the beginning. Why did I want to write a dystopian kind of tale in the first place? Perhaps it’s because I have great faith in the human spirit and the courageous heart that can come alive in a crisis. With that in mind, I wondered how a person would handle some impossible situation. As soon as I asked the question, a tale began to unfold!

For the first few pages, I used a third person point of view (POV). It was the point of view I’d used for all my stories. However, before long, I was suddenly writing from a first person POV. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. In fact, I was a little shocked when it happened.

But this incident should have been my first clue that my character, Dory, was a very strong-willed and determined type of individual. Third person point of view wouldn’t do for this guy. I got the feeling that if I was going to write about him, Dory wanted the facts and his feelings expressed in a way that was more of an experience than an account. Once Dory stepped in and began telling his story, everything about the writing intensified.

In a way, Dory explained the origins of his extreme personality when he talked about his relationship with his father. From the time he was just a young boy, he knew that to survive, he had to be as tough as his angry, raging parent.

In the book, Dory says, “I used my toughness to beat my dad at his own game, day in and day out. Our house was a battle zone. The only thing our living room was missing was some barbed wire and craters where the bombs exploded. Just like the air I breathed to live, I needed to make sure my dad didn’t win if there was going to be anything left of me.”

Shortly after I started writing, I stood back and let Dory introduce me to a world that I’d never known, Dory’s world. It was a world of opposites. Dory could behave like a hostile loner, but he also had a very soft side. It was that side of Dory that shared a teddy bear with his frightened brother when they were five-year-olds. It was that side of Dory that painted Madonnas.

Standing back, I think I got more than I bargained for in terms of the courage and staying power of a human being. My story, DYING TAKES IT OUT OF YOU, showed me how a person holds on when the odds are impossible. Even though Dory started out thinking he couldn’t handle the world anymore, even though he thought suicide was the answer, he rallied when it counted. His father didn’t destroy him, and he was going to make sure the virus that invaded his body didn’t win either. At the end of the first book, he hasn’t won the battle. But I can tell he’s waiting in the wings, ready to continue instructing me on what he’s facing now. I’m sensing that book two should be quite the extraordinary adventure for both of us.

I’d also like to comment on what else I’ve learned while writing about Dory and other characters in my vampire series, characters like Arel and William. All of them appear as loners who have separated themselves from the rest of humanity. But I’ve learned compassion for their plight. After being hurt repeatedly and having their hearts beaten to a pulp, they totally withdraw. And it seems to take an extreme circumstance for them to come back to their true selves. For these types of people, love never touches them unless it’s the only thing that’s left.

I’ve also learned that love is the most enduring power. It seems to always be there, outside the walls that people put up. But if given a chance, it flows in and begins to work its magic.

Finally, I want to thank Cynthia for giving me the opportunity to share a little background on my book, DYING TAKES IT OUT OF YOU, and that tough and enduring guy, Dory.

Where to find S.S. Bazinet:





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