Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? When did you come up with the idea to write your book?
The idea for my book came about two years ago at a Christmas Brunch. A friend of mine told a story of her brother renting a car with three others after the horrific attack of 9/11. They were attending a CEO conference in Seattle when the towers collapsed and all air traffic was halted. They needed to get back to their homes. When they couldn’t find a rental car available, a friend, who owned a repossession company, rented a car to them. Shortly into their trip they discovered drugs, weapons, and ammunition hidden in the car. Meanwhile, the man returned to pay for his repossessed car. What followed was murder and a terrorizing chase. I was so intrigued with this unbelievable, bazaar story that I decided to develop it into the thriller, fateful connections.
Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I self-published with BookBaby. It was recommended to me by another writer who had used them. I was impressed with their professional work.
Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
The book cover is of the utmost importance in drawing attention. It creates the first impression on its potential readers, providing an important marketing tool. A publishing company has asked me for permission to use the cover of fateful connections in their company’s advertising.
How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
Writing a thriller demands an exciting momentum. Long blocks of backstory slow the story down. There needs to be a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. Readers love an underdog who is allowed to succeed in the end. There has to be a dangerous secret. It is hard to drop hints and not give it away. It is hard to put our protagonists in danger but they need to be presented with dreadful options. The stakes have to be so high that they will fight despite the risks.
What other books are you working on and when will they be published?
I am working on another book inspired by a true story of a teacher caught in the middle of the Los Angeles riots after the acquittal of the officers who had beaten Rodney King. She had fourteen blocks, between her and the freeway, of a hellish explosion of rioting, arson, looting, and murder. It became a two-year nightmare for her whole family. I should be ready to publish the spring of 2024.
What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?
The two main settings in fateful connections are owned by my family, adding depth and insight into the story.
Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?
The events of 9/11 are interwoven throughout the story. It is important to be reminded of the deadliest terrorist attack to ever occur on American soil. We are stronger and safer now as a result of more vigilant security measures. Many don’t realize how many lives in our country were affected and changed forever. This story shows the resolve and resilience with which our country and individuals have overcome this tragedy.
Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
My favorite line in the story gives hope for the future. “With the promise of tomorrow, they danced the night away.”
Fateful Connections tells the story of four people brought together by the tragic events of 9/11 in the United States. These four individuals were attending a conference in Seattle, Washington, and found it nearly impossible to make it back to their homes, which were scattered across the country. They decide to rent a car and drive together, as they cannot get any flights home. As rental cars are also impossible to come upon, they find a friend who has access to a repossessed car, which he is willing to rent out. Unbeknownst to the friends, the rightful owner of the car wants his car back, and as they find out, hidden inside the car are drugs and guns. What ensues is a dangerous journey which impacts the four friends’ lives forever. The story follows them on their harrowing journey home, then one and two years later as they meet up for an annual reunion.
The strengths of this story are the easy-to-read narrative and compelling plot. The author introduces four intriguing main characters, as well as a number of antagonists, who hunt down the friends and engage in dangerous and illegal plans to not only recapture their guns and drugs, but also kill the friends so there are no witnesses to their illegal activities. The reader is instantly drawn into the storyline, and moves along with the characters as they experience fear, joy, love, and relief. The plot is compelling, and the reader cannot help but become invested in the lives of these four main characters.