When I set out to write my next novel, my idea was to attempt to write a piece of fiction with some genuine literary merit, a legal drama along the lines of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I have discovered during my short writing career that fiction writers generally fall into two categories: There are the people who start out with a detailed outline, a roadmap of their story. Once they have created the outline, then they go back and write the story, following the outline. They actually have a plan and know what they are doing. That’s not me. The other category, which includes me, are the people who write their stories “by the seat of their pants,” or “Pantsers,” as they are called.
When I started Angelica, I had no idea how it would end or where it would go along the way. This may sound weird, but it is true. My characters all have minds of their own. They choose their own destinies, or, maybe more accurately, they screw up and have to face the consequences of their screw-ups.
That’s what happened with Angelica. The story was happily rolling along, my next To Kill a Mockingbird, then out of the blue the Septuagenarian receives a long-distance cry for help from “the Beautiful Black Lady,” Brenda LeHane, wrongfully incarcerated at al-Wathba, a women’s prison hell hole in Abu Dhabi. Everything goes downhill from there. I’m not going to tell you what happens next. Buy the book. Please.