Being an author can be rewarding. We create scenarios that we nurture, vivid ideas that spring from our imaginations. The expression “life imitates art” comes to mind. I can bear witness to that. Because suddenly and without warning, last week’s devastating Marathon Tragedy brought reality into conjunction with what my editor had just contracted as my latest novel.
I write commercial fiction in various genres and my latest, Out of the Storm, is a contemporary romantic thriller. I had the idea that terrorists could frighten us by invading and destroying family-oriented events. While I had other things in mind, the Boston Marathon and the attendant crowds was made to order. In past years, family members had stood within feet of where the bombers plied their horrific handiwork. My neighbor, an event planner and the man who supervised the Marathon finish line for 17 years, had been there a few minutes before the explosion. By fate or God’s grace he had moved. Some friends and neighbors were involved. Fortunately, none of those close to us was injured.
My hypothesis in my novel’s scenario was that totally unexpected and heinous acts like the one we witnessed might terrify and place us in a collective state of shock. Freeze our people into panic. I was WRONG! Dead wrong and I stand both ready and proud to admit it. I should have known better.
Rather than leave us weeping and hiding behind our collective doorways our people rallied and distinguished themselves without exception—as they have so often in our history. My minister summed it up beautifully last Sunday in an impromptu sermon titled “First Responders” which featured pictures of runners and other civilians putting themselves in harms way to aid the injured and maimed. None knew if another device might be detonating momentarily but despite that they went to aid of those in need. Needless to say police, fire, and emergency personnel distinguished themselves heroically. Tragic though the week of April 15, 2013, was it showed that Boston and America had the backbone to take a deadly blow and still come to the aid of their fellow citizens.
The actions of my fellow Bostonians so inspired me I modified the manuscript my editor had sent me for revision. If I underestimated my fellow citizens, I apologize. This was truly a reality check for many of us—a renewal of our faith in our fellow man and our ability to stand strong against evil. And though bittersweet, it was also up lifting. When those of us in the “Hub” watched Neil Diamond arrive at historic Fenway Park and sing the traditional Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline” tears ran down our cheeks. We had faced the devil and showed him we had the wherewithal to spit in his face and come back strong—Boston Strong!
Author of Rite of Passage
And Out of the Storm from
The Award-winning Wild Rose Press.