This is the second post in a series of blogs describing how fine art inspired my mystery and psychological thriller, Blood Brothers. Even though I began writing Blood Brothers in 2003, I first developed a gay character named Billy in 1994 in a short story entitled “Sugar.” Sugar is the embodiment of the beloved African American woman, Janie Fincher, who was my family’s maid for most of my childhood. I also relied on my relationship with Janie in developing the character Ala Mary, the Hampton’s maid in Blood Brothers.
Wanda Stella Varriale’s beautiful oil painting shown below inspired both the setting for “Sugar” and the character, Mrs. John Saneford.
Varriale is a well-listed painter who was born in New York City in 1923 and who died in 1997. She is best known for her portraits and still life paintings. I wrote this story shortly after I acquired this painting.
Madonna’s album, Bedtime Stories, inspired the structure of my story.
I hope you enjoy it. You can download a PDF file here: SUGAR