In my latest novella, Plunge, I took the ingredients of my life and created a dish. If I’d kept to real life, the dish would have been akin to tomato soup with a side of saltine crackers. In the novella, these life ingredients have been spiced up to create something akin to a gazpacho or salsa roja. It’s true that I’m a travel writer covering the Caribbean, but in no way am I as out-of-control as my protagonist, Turner. I do have an ex-wife who was deathly afraid of flying, and who never boarded a plane, but if she was like Sally in the novella, our marriage wouldn’t have lasted 18 years. I also have a son but thank God he was never kidnapped. If he had been, I’d probably have relied on the FBI rather than marching off on my own with a shotgun, as Turner does in the book.
Here’s how I’ve described Plunge:
Turner’s a reckless travel journalist. His ex-wife Sally is an overprotective agoraphobe with an intense fear of flying. When their eight-year-old son is kidnapped in the Dominican Republic, Turner and Sally have to rely on each other in ways they never managed when they were married. When the true viciousness of the kidnappers’ plan is revealed, Turner and Sally have to tap the most violent sides of their natures to save their child.
A novel is elevated when elements of real life bleed into the narrative. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic numerous times, and I hope small details here and there bring the destination to life. I’ve swum with stingrays in the Cayman Islands and found myself in tiny bars on the wrong side of an island town. I interviewed Aruba’s minister of tourism shortly after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, and will never forget the feeling that he was within an inch of collapsing in front of my eyes from a nervous breakdown. I’ve felt what Turner and Sally must have felt—that their union was firmly in the rear-view. That there was nothing to salvage. These details, emotions, and experiences helped fuel the writing of what I hope is a balls-to-the-wall crime novella.
Get your copy of Plunge HERE!