Debbie Bascomb a Character From “When We Were Married” by Daniel Quentin Steele

What is your story?

My name is Debbie Bascomb. It was Debbie Maitland for 20 years. I have a dynamite body and a beautiful face and an ass, as one male admirer once said in a unsuccessful seduction attempt, that “I don’t have to twitch. It twitches itself.” Men are always hitting on me and I couldn’t go to a dance or anyplace where my ex-husband left me alone without having guys — old, young and inbetween — trying to rub up on me.

Bill Maitland and I rocked along until I met Doug Baker. Doug Baker was six-feet-three of solid, young male who had a rock hard midsection that I couldn’t help thinking about on nights when Bill pushed his flabby gut on top of me for his monthly mating. Five minutes of grunting and he was through and I lay there awake while he snored.

I never cheated, seriously, but I’d made up my mind to leave Bill. What we’d had was long gone and I felt like a 17-year-old around Doug. I wanted that feeling again. I was getting ready to turn 40 and I wasn’t ready to become my mother.

And then I said those four words. Our marriage crashed and burned and everybody made me out the bad guy and Bill the saint. Never mind his ignoring me and our kids. Never mind the fact that he was probably cheating on me for years.

And while he was making a new life for himself and slimming down and looking younger I was losing Doug and in the process of losing my kids and I lost my job and my career. And it was all his damned fault. And now I’m going to a psychiatrist to find out why Bill is literally making me sick. I’m throwing up all the time, and I have anger and rage at Bill that even I don’t understand. And all these damned people keep telling me that I still love him. They’re so full of shit. But I can’t get him out of my head.

Are you the hero of your own story?

From where I’m standing, yes. The author gives that position to my ex, Bill Maitland, because he’s got the sexy job of prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville. But his story is my story, and if there was any justice, it would be my story because I’m the best thing that ever happened to Bill. And he’s the one that destroyed our marriage and blighted my life, no matter how sorry for himself he’s feeling.

What is your problem in the story?

I fell in love with a short, insecure guy who has never trusted me, not really, in 20 years. He may say he has, but deep down I know he’s just been waiting for me to screw another guy to walk out on me. And when he did walk out on me, and destroyed my career at the same time, I gave him what he’d been wanting. I fucked the living daylights out of a young stud and I didn’t regret one minute of it. So I divorced him and what did the sorry bastard do but slim down and get hot and start banging women all over the courthouse and hook up with this gorgeous French bitch who drives me crazy. It is not fair. He’s moving on, and I thought I was too, but he’s still messed up my head so bad I’m seeing a psychiatrist to find out why I want to kill him. That’s my problem. I want to move on and make a life without him, and it’s so much harder than I thought it would be.

How do you see yourself?

I’m a good person. I was a good daughter, even if I was screwed up royally as a teen. But getting 34 d breasts when your friends are in training bras has a habit of doing that to you. (They grew to 36dd). I am a good mother. I was mother and father to our two children for most of their lives. St. Bill was nowhere to be found. I met an awkward, nerdy guy in college and chose him over guys that were better in bed and better looking and better life choices because I fell in love with him. I saved his ass from being kicked out of school because he’d lost weeks from injuries he suffered coming to my rescue. I gave up my dreams and worked to put him through law school because he came from genteel poverty and he never had to worry about money when I was working for the Hunt Bank. I saved his college career, I gave him his legal career and along the way I gave him the best sex he’ll ever have in his life, even with that bitch Aline des-Jardins. I was a faithful wife way beyond what anyone who knew what our bedroom was like would ever expect. And when I finally reached out to find some happiness for myself with a gorgeous young Assistant Professor Doug Baker, Bill destroyed my career and Doug’s in one night. Without even trying hard. And the asshole had the nerve to feel like he was the one that got screwed over.

How do your friends see you?

I don’t have many friends. Men can’t take their eyes off my boobs and can’t stop trying to grab a feel. Old guys. Young guys. Friends of my son and daughter. If they have a penis, they’re making moves on me. The best male friend I ever had wanted me and had me, but he saw me as a person instead of a pair of big tits. He saw me as a professional who had made a career for myself and had the right to break away from a marriage that was killing me. He just thought I had made mistakes in the way I went about it. He’s gone now and I miss him more than anyone I never loved. Maybe I did, a little.

I don’t have many female friends. None of them trust me with their husbands or boyfriends. As if that’s my fault. If they can’t keep their men happy, that’s on me? The entire time I was with Bill I never cheated on him. Well, that’s not EXACTLY true. But the two times I touched another man I never….did anything girls don’t do in junior high. And the one man that I almost made a mistake with that I would have regretted, I was able to stop and walk away from. And trust me, there are not many women in Jacksonville that could say that. But, I do have one good female friend. Evelyn Crisis is almost as hot as I am, so she’s not jealous and she understands what we go through with men from 7 to 70.

Flat chested ugly bitches see me as the evil seductress that lies awake plotting how to steal their old, bald, fat lovers. As if. Men I wouldn’t have looked at twice get their feelings hurt if I don’t drop and beg them to let me given them a blow job. As if I owe them sex just because they want it. Take it from me, being beautiful and hot is something I’d never give up, but it can be a royal pain in the ass.

What are your achievements?

I am an Associate Professor of Business at a major state university. Starting later than anybody I work with, I still made it up the ladder, played the political game, wrote the papers, did the research on corporate organization and almost made to full professor status before Bill blew me out the water. I was a good teacher, better than most around me because I knew what life in the real business world is really like and I did my best to prepare students for what they’d face when they walked into working offices.

I helped my ‘friend’ Bill get his undergraduate degree, worked my ass off to pay for his law school education, married him, gave him two children, went to their activities and cheered for them and played mother and father when they really needed two parents. And I tried, I really tried, to talk to him after our split, to ease the pain that he had to feel because he still loved me. But he wouldn’t talk to me, and he wouldn’t listen. But I reached out to him.

I am the now the administrator of the Public Defenders Office in Jacksonville, Florida, covering the three county circuit of Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties.

What in your past would you like others to forget?

So many things that happened to me between the ages of 14 and 18 that there wouldn’t be room enough to list them. I was very young, and very stupid, and very horny and very stacked. I remember them, which is why I’ve tried so hard to keep my daughter Kelly from making the same mistakes.

Who was your first love?

Bobby Lovejoy who was two years ahead of me at Forrest High School in Jacksonville when I entered as a ninth grader. I had sex with him in his car, in empty classrooms, behind the school, in a few parks, at his house, at his friends’ houses. Almost anywhere he wanted, except at my parents’ home in my bedroom. Until I found out about him and Jan Smith.

Who is your true love?

There’s only been one — Bill Maitland. And there probably won’t ever be another one like him. Maybe that’s a good thing. Because I think sometimes he almost killed me, even though I dumped him. Maybe we ought to settle for comfortable friendship and convenient lust, because love hurts entirely too much.

What is your favorite music?

Probably The “Human League.” Because Bill loved them and thus I heard their songs when Bill and I were young and in love and they still bring back those times.

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

If it was going to be for a month or less, a woman. It would be relaxing not to have to go through the whole man/woman thing for a while. More than a month, a man. Hot hopefully. I’ve gone too long without sex and I don’t want to make a habit of it.

How do you envision your future?

Hopefully I’ll find another man to love and share my life with. Hopefully I’ll finally be able to shake off the anger and rage and emotions that Bill still rouses in me and realize he’s not the most important part of my life anymore. He’ll always be important, because of our children. And because he is a good man and truly one of a kind. But I don’t want him to be my heart. I want to be happy without him. And I want to raise our son and daughter to make good marriages and make Bill and I proud grandparents. And most of all, I never want them to read the emails between Doug and I before my marriage to Bill crashed and burned.

Where can people learn more about you?

Go to and

My website is

Daniel Quentin Steele, Author of “When We Were Married”

What is your book about?

“When We Were Married” is a four-volume novel about four little words that destroy a marriage, two lives and a family. Those four words have a ripple effect on the lives of thousands through the courthouse, the cops and criminals in Northeast Florida and eventually will impact the lives on people in three continents.

The First Volume, the 220,00 word – 800 page – “The Long Fall” is the story of an obsessed and obsessive prosecutor in a North Florida county who has the major responsibility for putting bad people behind bars and keeping them there. It is the story of an average looking guy that loves a beautiful woman who is WAY out of his league and what happens when their marriage explodes, crashes and burns. It is the story of a beautiful woman who attracts men without effort and finally decides she’s had enough of an absentee husband when there’s a world of men out there that want her. And finds out it’s not as easy as it looks to walk out on 20 years with a man who would walk through fire for you.

It is thus a story of modern marriage and A MODERN marriage, a story of divorce and mid-life crisis and rebirth, the criminal justice system from the inside without political niceties and correctness, a story of cops and prosecutors and defenders and criminals. It’s a story about sex and obsession and neglect and betrayal and emotional and sexual affairs.

WWWM is an adult love story, meaning adult in several senses. One sense is that it features adult language, which is what you think it is. The people in the novel – lawyers, professors, cops, criminals – talk the way people really talk in their private offices, in corridors and in bedrooms., literally. They use the ‘f’ word a lot and the words that people actually use for sex and male and female genitalia. They also think about and work toward and have sex a lot.

In another sense, it’s a story about love after childbirth and boredom and jobs and responsibilities and 20 years of mind numbing routine and child rearing. It’s the ‘rest of the story’ after ‘ they lived happily ever after.’ Call it ‘grown up love’.

It is not a series of four books, but one book broken into four volumes because it will eventually total at between 750,000 and a million words and that’s a load for one novel. The second volume already published is “Second Acts.” The third I’m currently writing is “The Wind Is Rising,” and the final volume will be “Nobody Gets Out Alive.”

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

About thirty minutes. I heard the four words that are the source of the novel and was on the laptop typing in about that long.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I heard the four words used in the first chapter of the story and from the moment I heard them, the idea for the novel got into my head and wouldn’t let me go. The entire scenario of the first 25,000 word chapter, which is the story of the end of the marriage of Assistant State Attorney WilliamMaitland and his University of North Florida Associate Business Professor wife Debbie Maitland/Bascomb flashed into my head in rough form and I’d written it in a few days. The rest of the long novel started growing from there.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

Tons. It’s one of those things that it was only a year or a year and a half after I started writing that I sat back and looked at the characters, particularly the main character. While there is a lot about him that is not me, there is an awful lot that is. And I’m not going to tell, but people that know me would instantly know which parts are real. And while all the characters are fictional, not based on people I know, they obviously have to contain elements of real people or in some cases are modeled after real people but taken in different directions.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

The main character is Bill Maitland, the prosecutor. He’s my favorite because he’s flawed, but basically a good guy. He tries to always do the right thing, but he can go to bed with another man’s wife. He’s a faithful husband, but he neglects his wife for years and in the end all but forces her into another man’s arms. He neglects himself physically and emotionally for the sake of his duty to a higher calling. He’s stubborn and insecure personally and probably entirely too obsessed with big breasts, but he’s loved one woman and one woman only for more than 20 years. He has anger issues and takes too much personal satisfaction in sending bad people to jail, but he is capable of compassion in unlikely circumstances and he’s able to wield great power fairly. As one reader said, “he’s an asshole, but he grows on you.” And other readers said that Debbie “is a bitch, but she grows on you.”

Why will readers relate to your characters?

Readers relate to the characters because they all have flaws, and the good guys have some major dark spots on their souls, and the bad guys – at least some of them – have unexpected good qualities. Outside of cold blooded murderers and psychopaths, even the seeming bad guys have reasons for what they do and grab reader sympathy. The young stud who steals the hero’s wife finds out that there are dangers to beginning an affair with a married woman –not least the fact that you have to be careful not to fall for the people that fall for you.

How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

Next to none. I only had the basic idea which grew into the first chapter. After that I wrote the next couple of chapters that seemed to flow from the first and by the time I’d got 40,000 words into it, I had the general story arc for the entire novel. It was originally going to consist of three volumes but as the story grew, I knew it would be four volumes eventually. Because of the way I was writing it, I had the freedom to expand portions and the novel progressed, but the overall story arc remained the same and I know how the last chapter of the fourth volume will go.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

No academic research per se, although I did use the internet for a lot of small things. God Bless Google. I covered cops and courts on and off for two decades and talked with prosecutors before, during and after trials, rode with and talked to cops off the record about murders and serious felonies, sat with judges in their chambers and talked to them when they let their hair down. I was always somebody that people trusted to keep my mouth shut, and it opened a lot of doors. I know the background as well as any non-lawyer or cop could. In regard to the personal, I’ve worked around courthouses and attorneys and cops and newspapers since I was young and single and horny, and, trust me, it is an environment like every other environment I’ve ever lived and worked in: people are either plotting to have sex, having sex, or remembering having sex. And then trying to figure out how to have it again.

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?

When I get to “the end.” But seriously, I tend to write science fiction, fantasy, horror and now mainstream ‘romance’/courthouse legal, all of which have plots with definite beginnings, middles and ends. In most cases I know how the last page will read before I’ve finished the first chapter and every word – at least every chapter – is moving in that direction.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I want them to remember the characters. Books don’t live for their plots, much as I write plot-driven novels. You remember the people. I might forget WALL-E’s plot and what the little robot is doing, but I will always remember him and his deadly sweet metal girlfriend. Harlan Coben writes great novels with great plots, but I remember the characters from Myron Bolitar whose life story is told in a succession of novels to the doctor hero in “Tell No One” whose name I can’t remember who lost his wife and has never been able to recover. We remember people, not events.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

No. As as some movie honcho said back in the 30s, you want to send a message, use Western Union. Slavery is bad. Democrats are good. The Minimum Wage needs to be $10 an hour. The country started going to Hell when we kicked God out of School. All of that is crap. I don’t have messages. Themes maybe, but they’re so clichéd I almost hesitate to write them out. You don’t choose the people you love. None of us are as good as we should be. Even bad people can do good things and be good in certain situations. All of us are and will be assholes to the people we love. And everyone we love, without exception, is going to disappoint and betray us. If you can’t forgive the people you love, you’re going to wind up alone. All of us are going to get old and sick and die, and most of us are going to do stupid things when that sinks in on us. Only people under 30 think they’re immortal. Stuff like that, and if you read “When We Were Married” starting with Volume One “The Long Fall” you’ll see all of it.

What was the most difficult part about writing the book?

Nothing really. It went down, as I used in the novel, “like an oyster at a beach party.” The first 200,000 words or so wrote itself. I was posting the novel and receiving reader input and criticism which I loved. It slowed down as I got into the last half of what I’ve written so far because I was in an extremely unpleasant time in my life and the time available for writing kept shrinking and shrinking and I went a long time on 3-4 hours of sleep tops, and sometimes an hour or two a night.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

Yes, it has changed my life. Before I started writing this book I had pretty much given up on the dream of writing fiction. I had published professionally in my late 20s, one novel in the U.S. and England, but then hit a dead end and could only get a few short things published, although I published in small press magazines paying a few bucks around the world. I channeled all my writing energies into non-fiction, business articles, freelance stuff. I was a teacher and figured I might send some already written stories out after I retired. Then “When We Were Married” became a firestorm that consumed my life for a year and a half, brought me readers and fans literally from around the world who kept emailing me about when I was going to finish the story I’d started. I’d heard about epublishing and ebooks back in 2009 and 2010 but I honestly had gotten burned so many times, received so many rejection slips over the years, I was through. Then I attended a meeting with a Barnes and Noble rep who talked about the PUBIT self publishing or Indie Publishing program and decided, what the heck, why not. I had to take what I’d written, put it into novel format since it was written as an online serial, clean it up and correct mistakes since the published version was really a rough draft. I published it and despite the fact that a lot of it was available for free, it started selling. Then I packaged the second book, added 30,000 words of new copy, put a lot of new stuff in throughout the existing chapters, and it was a new book. Now I’m busting my hump trying to merchandise the book. It is selling steadily, but nothing spectacular because I’m a nobody with no publicity for the books. And I’m writing the third novel. And I have a non-related adult novel that I’ve already started about a guy who plans to kill himself on his 60th birthday but goes out for a last drink and winds up in bed with a 22-year-old cocktail waitress. And his life goes off in very different directions. Call it, “coming of age at 60.” And if I live long enough, I’ve got tons of others waiting in the wings.

At what age did you discover writing?

I wrote a little story about four friends and myself in an adventure involving a gold mine and read it in class and everybody in my class loved it, including my pretty fourth-grade teacher. And I was hooked from that point on.

When where you first published? How were you discovered?

The first thing I ever had published was a fantasy novel titled “The Exile of Ellendon.” I sent it in cold without an agent to Doubleday in 1974. Doubleday was my second submission. They bought it and published it and Robert Hale picked it up and published it in England. But Doubleday rejected my second book. And I was never able to do anything with the next four novels I wrote. I was never able to get an agent. I can’t say that I was ever ‘discovered.’ I’m still waiting for that.

Where can people learn more about your books?

Go to and

My website is


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.