If Maggie doesn’t act on what the voice tells her, she gets horrible pains in her head. After she accomplishes the voice’s fatal edicts, she eventually comes undone in a way that lands her at the Brockman Psychiatric Hospital in Burlington, Vt.
But she is an efficient killer for a tall, skinny, strawberry-blonde-bespectacled girl who lunches at the losers’ table at school.
Yet Maggie’s twin realities are sprinkled with lighter moments. Along the way, she learns about her paternal-voice-hearing grandmother, that Lester’s unrequited love has a price, and that Abigail was not a true BFF.
Usually, Shimko knows how her stories will begin and end, but not this one.
“I just started writing, and the story came as I wrote. I didn’t have anything planned,” she said.
The book came out last month and is available on Amazon or locally at the Corner-Stone Bookshop in Plattsburgh.
“You Know What You Have to Do” is Shimko’s first audio book and is also available on Kindle.
“I think it would make a really good book-club book. I’m getting more feedback from adults reading it. The ending is open-ended. My editor (Melanie Kroupa) and I went around and around and around. We both liked Maggie so much, we didn’t want her to end up in prison or have awful things happening to her,” Shimko said.
Shimko’s book-in-progress is “Me and Bobby McGee,” after Janis Joplin’s posthumous 1971 hit.
“It’s about a girl in a foster-care system whose musical talent and obsession with Janis Joplin changes her life,” Shimko said.
Email Robin Caudell:email@example.comTO BUY WHAT: "You Know What You Have To Do" by Bonnie Shimko LENGTH: 230 pages AVAILABLE: Corner-Stone Bookshop, 110 Margaret St., Plattsburgh; www.amazon.com; and www.bonnieshimko.net.