In one way or another, each of my books portrays characters in the process of making dire choices. And often they make wrong choices that ultimately cost them. For example, Paul Dunaway in Mary’s Mountain discards his values and knowingly tolerates evil. Tolerance is the keyword in this book–a sickly, fluffy, and misleading tolerance, that costs Paul the highest price.
But aren’t we the same? Don’t we fall for well-presented propaganda (lies)? Are we just too busy to think for ourselves when we let others form our mindsets, our values?
Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing, I took a wrong turn and just kept going.–Bruce Springsteen
Lucy Adams, Lake Oconee Magazine, wrote the following about my short story collection, Birds of a Feather; but what she wrote also describes my writing in general.
“Hinckley writes characters who are shocking, flamboyant, disturbed, unkind. She writes characters who are merciful, gracious, empathic, loving. She writes characters who demonstrate the dualities of human nature. Edmund, in “Shooting at Heaven’s Gate,” allows himself to be used by evil. Rather than condemn his actions, Hinckley pushes her reader to acknowledge the frailties of the human heart. “We all are capable of doing great evil,” explains Hinckley. “Why does a person do this? I like to know reasons.” Curiosity about human nature propels her plots.Don’t seek clearly defined protagonists and antagonists here, however. Hinckley’s characters are complicated. They’ve done horrible things, witnessed horrible things, been the victims of horrible things, yet they continue rising each morning and putting one foot in front of the other. They fulfill their obligations to each other while these horrible things gnaw at them from the inside out. Hinckley deftly presents the repulsiveness of her character’s actions, while also revealing her characters’ drive toward love.”
Author, Richard Van Holst, had this to say about my novel, A Hunger in the Heart: “Like Flannery O’Connor, Hinckley shows us the virtues and the flaws in her characters. And while she displays their weaknesses as traits deserving of compassion, she does not whitewash their faults.”
My own contention is that any decision we make can drastically change the course of our own lives, and even change the kind of people we are as Americans. So, shouldn’t we comb through our hungers (our choices) and make only those we’re sure will better us all?