Reaping the Whirlwind follows a deputy sheriff in a small town who is investigating a series of seemingly unrelated mysterious deaths. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
My family attended a seminar at the University of Delaware and the presenter said as an aside (it had nothing to do with the topic of the seminar), “The Scopes Trial was a complete farce. Nothing you have heard about the trial was true.” That spurred me to find out more. I immediately went to the library and checked out the biographies of William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Darrow, and John Scopes. They all agreed. The trial was a farce. That was enough to get me started.
What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the stories theme?
Aside from reading the biographies, I purchased the trial transcript and traveled to the town, Dayton, Tennessee, twice. There I scoured through their local history archives and watched video accounts of people who had actually attended the trial. I also consulted with Scopes Trial expert Dr. Richard Cornelius in his office. Dr. Cornelius read the completed manuscript as well to assure that the account was factual.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Every life has value, whether the person has challenges or not. Just because something is in the news as a major event, that doesn’t mean what people are seeing and hearing is actually true.
What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?
Thanks for asking. My next book is coming out in the fall of 2023. Titled SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED, it is a paranormal mystery set in northern Pennsylvania. You may read sample chapters at this link.
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