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This article appeared in the DavisCounty Clipper. Many of you have been surprised at the topic of my new book, "Vincible: In the Wake of a Serial Killer," since I am known for my sweet and gentle nature. Okay, you got me--not so sweet. Or gentle. Sensitive? Maybe not the right word either. I do insult people on occasion with my brashness. My blog isn't subtitled, A Blithe n' Brazen Blog for nothing. I'm gonna go with perceptive. Maybe the article can shed some light on why I wrote this book.

by Tom HARALDSEN

tharaldsen@davisclipper.com

LAYTON—Like many of us who write for a living, Gail Winegar’s first interest in the craft was in part the result of a teacher she had in fifth grade.

“I wrote a story in first-person from the viewpoint of a black widow spider, and when he read it to the class, I realized I had an audience who wanted to hear more,” she recalled. That led to her spending countless hours in her youth writing and illustrating books, and “inventing characters that became my closest friends.”

It’s safe to say that not all of the characters in her latest novel are those she’d want to be friends with. This fall, “Vincible: In the Wake of as Serial Killer” was released by Brighton Publishing. It was inspired by a true story that Winegar, who grew up in Bountiful and now lives in Layton as well as part of the year in St. George, researched over four years. She spent more than 4,000 hours writing it.

She knew of an acquaintance whose daughter had been murdered, and began thinking about doing a book based on some of the facts of the case.

“It is inspired by a true story,” she said. “I’ve been to every trial and every hearing of the real case. I got to be like the family representative for every trial date – even got to sit in on jury selection. The case took years before the suspect was sentenced. So the last four years I’ve gone to everything related to the case – interviewing everyone on each side.”

That led to her story of Vincent Padilla, a psychopathic killer genius who leaves a devastating wake behind wherever he goes. He takes revenge on his attackers and even innocent people. Winegar uses her knowledge from the real trial she observed to create characters that get caught up in Padilla’s masterful game of finding new territories and victims.

“This is not my usual genre,” Winegar said with a smile. “I’m a very gentle person, and I had to go to some really dark places writing this. I did a lot of pacing while I wrote. I was touched by what this woman was going through. I saw the legal system stretch this case on and on. I saw what she was going through with no end in sight. I felt there would be some benefit to telling this story, and not making it too sensational. It’s a cautionary tale in a way – what happens when people make small choices that turn out to be big choices.”

Readers may recognize her name from her popular blog “Off My Wall – A Blithe n’ Brazen Blog.”

“It’s where I’ve unleashed the quirky way I see the world,” she said. “I write about human nature, marriage, politics, history, movies, or any other topic I’m in the mood to examine or make light of.”

The Viewmont High graduate also credits her passion for books to her dad, who taught English.

“My earliest memories are devouring the books he shared at the breakfast table each morning along with our pancakes,” she recalled. “At an early age, my siblings and I were intimately acquainted with the works of authors from Betty McDonald’s Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable.”

“Vincible: In the Wake of as Serial Killer” is now available nationwide from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other leading book retailers.

Order your copy by clicking on one of the links below.

Amazon Prime

Barnes and Noble