When I began writing my latest Nick Bracco thriller, A Touch of Defiance, I had no idea how closely it would emulate national events. My character, Leo Frazier, is a closet bigot who’s attempting to overthrow the government with his collection of disaffected civilians called the Civil Resistance Movement. There is civil unrest in our country and Frazier is taking advantage of our angst by drawing people against each other.
Now in all my Bracco books I never delve into politics. I never mention if Nick is a Republican or Democrat. In fact, I never even mention which side of the aisle the President himself resides. It’s not my place to instill a division among my readers. I’ve always wanted my stories to be alone in their world without finger-pointing. The main thrust of my work is simple. Good versus bad. The lines get blurry of course when you have a member of the Mafia working with an FBI agent to track down terrorists, but that’s the fun part. How far can you go before you cross that line? After all, even gangsters can be patriotic.
So when my story overlaps with today’s news cycle, I’m reminded that we are all part of the same community. We are all on this spaceship called Earth hurling throughout the universe at breakneck speed and the people in the back of the ship are trying to kill the people in the front of the ship. As a writer, I find solace in the fact that I can’t possibly prevent division in the world, nor can I bring people together with some fictional series about the mob fighting terrorist. But I do gain a cathartic buzz knowing that I can offer my readers a sense of triumph. You can join in with my characters and clench a fist of victory. This form of accomplishment can be medicinal in this time of disparate agendas. We are all part of the same spaceship. So pick up your favorite thriller and delve into the pages. Let your mind wander. And please, be accepting of the other side—whatever that other side may be.
Hop on and enjoy the ride.