All morning, I felt agitated by the news of the attacks in Paris and Beirut yesterday and found it hard to settle to any productive tasks. Then about noon, I reminded myself why I’m writing my current novel.
Like The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, it’s another novel based on real events—the story of an oppressed people, starving and without hope, and how a minority faction rises up and turns to violence and terrorism. My main character is a woman from the dominant culture, taken captive and held hostage with her two young children for several weeks. While she is captive, she forms a bond with someone who acts as her protector. These two try to reach across the cultural divide and misunderstandings, but events race out of their control, and their efforts do not work out quite as they planned.
This story is so pertinent to the times in which we live. So this afternoon when I felt distracted by what’s happening, I reminded myself that one of the best ways I can help the world right now is to continue telling this tale of two courageous people who tried to bridge the chasm of hate.