Diary of a Heretic, the cover of the paperback version.

Diary of a Heretic, a novel

Diary of a Heretic, the cover of the paperback version.
Years ago, a character formed full-fledged overnight in a dream. But Malcolm’s story took me years to write.

Once, years ago, I woke up with a full-fledged character in my head–as close I’ve gotten to real inspiration. A huge boost! And yet, writing his story took many years. Malcolm is wild, insecure, anxious, easily manipulated, hyper-sensitive, and charismatic.

My husband finds this novel hilarious, as intended. Unintended, however, is a resemblance between Malcolm and me. Once Manny pointed out the traits and tendencies we share (charisma aside), I had to concede. But even if my charismatic heretic is purely an extension of myself, his  story of being goaded into starting a cult religion, Religion Without Rules, just isn’t going to happen to me.

Story of My First Blog


Someone or someone’s robot has stolen the domain name of my first blog, diaryofaheretic.com, and added it to the URL of a repugnant, stagnant page. And I can’t stop them, although I own the diaryofaheretic.com URL and have it set so that it takes you directly to my larger site, Kathleen Maher’s Pure Fiction, which is designed to help sell my novels while I continue to write and post serial fiction and any other stories in the making.
The original diaryofaheretic.com was a Literature Finalist for the Weblogs Awards in 2007 and 2008. It didn’t win, but it was the only literature blog featuring original fiction.
It inspired my novel, Diary of a Heretic, and a novella, Underground Nest, as well as other novels I’m rewriting or trying to get published.
So my tagline for diaryofahereticcom (no dot, that’s been used already) is: DAMNARE VIVI DEFUNCTI. Using half-remembered high-school Latin, I’m trying to say: DAMN THE LIVING DEAD! (If anyone reads this, knows the correct translation, and is generous enough to offer it to me free of charge, please do. My gratitude to you will persist as long as I do.)
Also, if anyone knows how to stop those who design spiders and ghosts that prey upon an unknown fiction writer, describing the measures I need to take would be a great kindness.

Justifying My Existence

Justifying My Existence copy


This image is from a photograph my husband took by sneaking inside an old building across the street from us, “The Beekman Palace.” It had been empty and in a state of worsening dilapidation when he took a series of photographs one Sunday morning when somewhere someone was photographing a ghostly young woman moving in and out of manufactured fog. He entered through a plywood door and aimed his camera up at the atrium. In the two years since, the building has been undergoing nonstop, eye burning, rumbling, metal crunching and sawing renovation. In another year it will supposedly be a “five star” hotel. A pop up realtor beneath us is supposedly selling the condominiums rising in a newly manufactured tower attached to the grand old Palace.

The image appears in Excerpts on my main site, in a post that offers Diary of a Heretic‘s first entry, called “Justifying My Existence”

The diary writer, Malcolm Tully, starts with:

“For years I adhered to the idea that if I lived spartanly and maintained hope, a day would come when I would be invited to speak my mind And someone would listen. Someone would understand…”

[More here or here.]