Pedaling West follows a recently unemployed and single woman who decides to ride her bike across the country in the middle of a pandemic. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
For my previous two published books, I backdated the stories to avoid the issues associated with COVID-19-mandated protocol during the era. Finally, for Pedaling West, I decided to take the pandemic on. I hoped the book would resonate with readers because of the interesting characters and exciting story, but also because of our common challenges with COVID-19.
Carrie suffers several blows to her self-confidence and through this ride rediscovers her own inner strength. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
My goal was to create a character with whom many could identify, who had a full basket of recognizable qualities and familiar flaws. Metaphorically, Carrie represents each of us who uses our unique talents and skills to stumble forward positively, overcoming our fears and challenges, to create successful lives. Like Carrie, we usually find we don’t have to do everything ourselves. Others will help us if we take the initiative to ask.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The imperative for determination and resilience.
The critical nature of our human connection to each other and the common bonds we share.
The power, beauty, and majesty of nature versus the fragility of its environment.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
At my publisher’s urging, I plan to follow up Pedaling West, with another crime fiction novel featuring the partnership of agents Marina Butnari and Doug Hill. After the escapades of Pedaling West, they are back to addressing the most heinous criminal activity in our world: human trafficking. Crime unfortunately creates staggering wealth and power which makes the battle between good and evil much closer than it should be. The working title for the novel is “All In.”
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