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With the kind permission of Painted Rock along with author Dee Gatrell, we give you clips of this interview. Please go to their archive to read it in total.

Interview with Author/Editor Babs Lakey
By Dee Gatrell

Babs had her first book, SPIRIT OF THE STRAIGHTEDGE, published this year. This book and the books that follow it, are about a woman, Elsie Sanders, who wants justice with every fiber of her being and is willing to do anything, give up anything, to see justice become a reality. She is relentless.

"I come from a background of considerable abuse and I spent a great deal of time considering the differences in women and men," Babs said. "I wondered why many men are so violent. And I lived with evil. I know it when I see it. They say write what you know."

Babs' killers are always written in first person, as is Elsie. She said she doesn't do that to titillate, as was once suggested, but rather to show what is real.

"To change things you need to understand them, I wanted to give the world a small slice of understanding. I wanted to help change the world.

"You think I'm kidding, right? Ha! My protagonist, Elsie, is really a sort of hit-man/avenging goddess. She begins as an innocent, and goes in and out of many evil things over her years. In some ways her life is bizarre, in others, she's you and I," Babs said.

For instance in the third book Elsie falls in love with a priest--something her mother had done (in the first book) and Elsie'd abhorred and certainly who'd have thought life could imitate itself in that respect? Certainly not Elsie! "Haven't most women done at least some of the things that they hated their own mothers for doing?"

"The problem I was faced with when I wrote Straightedge was how a very special woman would or could kill. What would drive her to it was not that hard," Babs said. "But how could she and by what means? There is a moral issue that would be too much for even the young Elsie to rationalize. ...she sets up her sting and fact is, if the men were not filled with evil, they would live, if they chose evil, they die. At their own hand. ...the ultimate sting story."

"I looked at my own life and how I'd changed over the years. It was as if by age fifty I'd lived several different lifetimes," Babs said. "Others are like myself. We can't write a character who is always good, always nasty, always evil, always disturbed or unbalanced. They grow! They live, they change. I want that for my characters because I love them!"

Babs has several books in progress. ... She has begun a series on a woman who wrenches for a motorcycle race team, and a novel that compares the world of a mother and her daughters in a rather unique way where "you'll get to see each event from their own special perspective." She's doing that as a 'project' with her daughters. She's working on the screenplay for STRAIGHTEDGE, too.

"About two years ago I was optioned to do an adaptation of the first Hitchcock film by John Bennett, the son of Charles, the original writer. I loved it and I did good. Or so I understand," Babs said. "It's in some kind of copyright hell right now (something everyone of you who have had that Hollywood connection understand!) and may never make the screen but I did a great script and I know it, and it really made me want to write for films."

Not only is Babs an author, but she's the owner of FUTURES Magazine. The magazine is her "pet project."

"My pet. That's a great way to put it! My pet and I seem to have developed a love/hate thing recently. ...

A quote from the first issue, by Molly Essau, says, "This is a prophetic magazine. It is about spunk, and guts, and never saying never."

"Network your way to sanity. That could be a writers/artists mantra. Actually, if network means helping and sharing, it's the mantra for most of the world, isn't it? I talk about FUTURES being a circle. Life is a circle. Put it out there and watch it return and put it out once again. Simply to know that others have suffered before you! That, my friend, was the birth of FUTURES.

"The long range vision was a writer's community. We're a long way from attaining that goal! Fortunately for any who really has an appreciation of FUTURES, I'm a goal oriented individual and I seldom stop to think of the road to the goal. This is hard," Babs said. "If writing, or a career as any kind of artist, is not for the faint of heart (and that's surely a truism), well, publishing a magazine of short fiction is for someone with a determination of iron."

The December issue of FUTURES will end the fourth year for the magazine.

Babs loves to hear from readers. You can email her at Her web page is the FUTURES website is

Spirit of the Straightedge


Dee Gatrell works as an Educational Advisor at Seminole Community College in Apopka, Florida. Previously, she's worked as a reporter, correspondent and free lance writer. Her most recent fiction writing sales have been to the confession magazines. She's a member of both RWA and MWA. Married to her hero, Larry, for more years than she's willing to admit, she's the mother of four children and has four grandchildren and two dogs. She's plotting away on novels, convinced that someday she'll sell one--maybe even before she's Grandma Moses' age.