Fiction And Life

My fiction is not autobiographical.

Not only have I never experienced a supernatural pregnancy (surprise, right?) as does Tara, the main character in The Awakening Series, I’ve never been pregnant at all. I’ve also never dated a vampire (When Darkness Falls), and unlike Q.C. (Quille) Davis, I don’t investigate crimes and no one I love has been murdered.

(I did work in the tower formerly known as Sears, but nothing occult happened there. That I know of.)

Yet as I walked today through Printers Row, the neighborhood where Quille, the protagonist of my new suspense series, and I live, I realized that the fiction I choose to write reflects a lot about what’s going on with me.

Not so much what I’m doing but how I feel about it.

Travel To Far Off Places

I wrote The Awakening Series during the years I was a full-time practicing lawyer, typically clocking 50-65 hours a week. People often asked me why I wasn't writing legal thrillers.

Seriously? No. No more law.

I wrote not to spend more time in the legal world but to escape.

Tara and other important characters in the series travel to Armenia (including its capital, Yerevan, and its more rural areas); Florence, Italy (to search for an ancient letter); to Istanbul, Turkey (almost getting killed there and meeting a billionaire benefactor and a Sufi elder); Paris, France; and all over the United States. (You can sees some photos of these places on my Pinterest page.)

Why?

Partly because it’s a thriller series and a convention of the genre is taking readers to different parts of the world.

But it’s also because while I enjoyed aspects of my law practice, I also associated it with too much work and a lot of stress. I wrote to get away from it.

Chicago Scenes In Fiction And Life

I love Chicago. I always have.

Now that I write mainly from home and so much of my workday involves writing fiction, I’m able to really relax and enjoy the city I live in. I take more walks (also part of my physical therapy since I broke my foot). I study and immerse myself in the city in ways I just didn’t have time for when I was spending all my hours in offices, conference rooms, airplanes, and courtrooms.

Through my new hero, Q.C. Davis, I’m able to share all of this with readers.

Maybe It’s OK To Be A Lawyer

Now that my real life law practice is limited (often to less than a few hours a week), I don’t mind writing about being a lawyer, which is why that's Quille’s main profession. I enjoy drawing on parts of what I learned as a lawyer and what I’ve picked up from other lawyers I know.

Motives for suspects in The Worried Man include real estate and insurance fraud, areas I learned a lot about as a litigator.

The Charming Man touches on immigration and criminal law. And Quille uses skills I learned in interviewing and deposing both friendly and hostile witnesses and gathering information that I picked up over the decades I’ve worked in law.

That’s not to say that Quille is just like me.

She’s not. For one thing, she began working as a child stage actress at age eight and did so through college. That’s a bit of wish fulfillment on my part. I took a lot of summer theater classes and got parts in high school plays and musicals, but I never acted professionally.

Quille also gets to say a lot of things that I only think.

While I like to think we share a desire to treat people well, Quille is far more comfortable with confrontation than I am. I admire that about her.

I also think it’s pretty cool that she solves crimes.

What sorts of books might I write if/when the Q.C. Davis series runs it’s course?

Who knows, but I’ll be excited to find out.