Pretty Has A Price

I’ve now finished the first draft of my third book–each one unique and completely unrelated to the other. That’s three written since I began the Writer’s Path program at Southern Methodist University in August of 2014.

The word count of Pretty Has A Price, draft one.

The word count of Pretty Has A Price, draft one.

The working title of Book Three is now “Pretty Has A Price.”

The book begins with newly widowed Sterling James leaning over the casket of her husband Harvey, saying a few last words to him before the graveside ceremony is to begin when she opens her eyes to see Annabelle, her nemesis approaching those gathering around. A cat fight, at a funeral, begins, with pallbearers ushering Annabelle back to her car.

Caught in the middle of these two women is Kent Jackson, a New York Times bestselling author who is in Montgomery, Alabama to write so he can meet the terms of a book deal. I enjoyed writing about Kent, who lives in a fictitious house on Old Cloverdale Park, around the corner from the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum on Felder Avenue. At nights he walks down the brick paved street on Old Cloverdale Park and strolls over to sit on the porch of the museum at night, looking up at the stars, listening to the crickets and night traffic, while wondering how Scott must have felt with Zelda there in the house, or the emptiness he must have felt once she’d gone back east again to be institutionalized. Kent, Sterling and Annabelle all end up at the annual Gala in front of the house in April and enjoy the amazing sights, sounds, and amazing food that even you can enjoy in real life.

Throughout the pages, readers learn about the high society balls that are still held in Montgomery–their elegance, their grandeur and the impact they have on those around them.

This book isn’t about anyone I know, but I’ve heard stories and embellished them from there. The story has humor, love, and explores the impact of pain and societal pressures.

I was told the other night it borders on literary fiction and straight fiction. Revision is next but I’m going to take a month’s break from it and let the characters breathe.

Writing is my life passion. There is no greater joy that to find a blank screen or piece of paper and put two or more characters in a precarious situation and see what happens next. Hopefully you’ll be able to read this story some day….

This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.


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Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander, a selfie from camping for 13 weeks in 2022 on the Claxton family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northwest of Marquette.

Donald J. Claxton is
‘The Timberlander’

Hello, I’m Donald J. 

I refer to myself as “The Timberlander” because I love off-grid living and woodworking.

My Great Pyrenees, Maycee, and I enjoy spending our time in the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

In the UP, I craft, make, grow, run, carve, and generate:

  • Custom crosses
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  • A garden
  • My water
  • Basswood figurines and ornaments
  • My own power

Check out my crafts for sale in The Timberlander’s Treasures.

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