It seems like it’s been a long road from the day Kent first told me about his plans to finish THE MIND OF PAYNE. He’d been working on it for many years.
Kent verbally told me the story. I sat, mesmerized, like I did in middle school when my favorite teacher would read a chapter from Bre’r Rabbit. That is when I met Payne Isaac, and it was also the moment I knew I had have to work with this story.
But, I had to wait.
Some years passed and we revisited the idea of bringing young Payne Isaac to life. In the meantime, we focused on perfecting another novel Kent had completed (soon to be released), but we always returned to Payne.
In some ways I can relate to Savannah, Payne’s psychologist in the story. She had no idea how much Payne would touch her heart and or how deeply he would change her life. Neither did I.
I hope, like me, each reader finds themselves having changed a bit on the inside after meeting the unique and heart warming Payne Isaac. -SW, Publisher
When psychologist Savannah James meets mentally ill five-year-old Payne Isaac she sees her role as simple: help Payne. Session after session she listens to Payne as he describes events that haven’t occurred and people she is certain do not exist. She desperately wants the therapy to have a positive affect in his life—a drive born from her need to cope with her own secret. When Payne discovers Savannah’s secret, he is convinced it is she who needs help—an obligation he believes belongs to him and one that forces him to choose between keeping his friends and helping Savannah.
EXCERPT from The Mind of Payne
“…and Mister Lane gives you two half pints of chocolate milk each week?”
“Are they both for you?”
“No, ma’am. One’s for me and one’s for Cheyenne.”
“So you drink one and Cheyenne drinks the other one?”
“Have you ever seen Cheyenne drink his?”
“I don’t ‘zactly watch that close, but I know he drinks it.”
“How do you know for sure if you’re not watching? How do you know Cheyenne drinks the milk?”
“’Cause the carton is empty.”
“Do you ever drink them both?”
“Yes, ma’am. Sometimes Cheyenne don’t want his an’ he lets me drink it an’ sometimes he wants me to give his to Robey.”
“I see. Have you ever seen Robey drink the milk?”
“I don’t zactly watch that close but I know he drinks it.”
“Because the carton is empty?”
“Why does Mister Lane call you Hat?”
“’Cause I like to wear hats…mostly cowboy hats.”
“Mostly cowboy hats—so you sometimes wear other types of hats?”
“What other hats do you wear?”
“Ice cream carton.”
“Sometimes I wear a’ ice cream carton. Momma warshes it out for me an’ I wear it. But mostly I jist wear my cowboy hat.”
“Why in the world would you…Never mind. Does Mister Lane talk to Cheyenne?”
“Does he talk to Robey?”
“Why do you think Mister Lane never talks to Cheyenne or Robey?”
“’Cause he’s in a hurry. He has a lots of people ta give milk to. He don’t have time ta waste for jawin’ like me an’ you.”
“Is that what you think we’re doing? Jawing. Wasting time.”
“I reckon, ‘cept I don’t mind if ya need ta borrow me now an’ then to have somebody ta talk to. ‘Cept I think if Daddy’s gonna do you a favor an’ let you borrow me then you oughta be payin’ him ‘steada him payin’ you.”
“Well sure, I understand your reasoning, but…what if it’s not me? What if it’s you who needs someone to talk to?”
“But it ain’t. I already have somebody.”
“Cheyenne and Robey?”
“Isn’t it nice though, to have someone other than Cheyenne and Robey with whom you can share your thoughts. Someone you can talk to about things. That’s why we’re here. For you to talk to me about whatever is on your mind.”
“I already talked to Cheyenne an’ Robey about somethin’ an’ Cheyenne said I oughta talk to you about it. He said I oughta jist bite the bullet an’ brang it out in the open. He said if I don’t, it ain’t likely ta ever git no better.”
“Yes. It’s good advice. Advice you should follow.”
“It’s about a wound and a scar. Cheyenne said a bad wound hurts right at first but sooner or later a scar takes its place. It’s there so that you can remember how bad the wound hurt and that it got better. Cheyenne said as bad as the scar is, it’s always better than the wound. He said some wounds are on the inside but they have scars jist the same. They jist take longer.”
“And Cheyenne told you this because you have a wound on the inside?”
“No, ma’am. You do.”
Amazon -Sept. 25, 2013
Barnes and Noble -Sept. 27, 2013
Paperback – January 2014