Reader Meet Writer : Books

The Escape Artist 

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When I’m getting ready to begin a new book, everything I experience turns into a potential storyline in my imagination. That’s why, when I overheard a conversation between two women in a restaurant, I jotted down the gossip they were sharing. A mutual friend of theirs was about to lose custody of her young son to her husband and his new wife. One of the women said, “If I were in her shoes, I’d take my son and run.” My mental wheels began spinning! Around the same time, I bought a laptop computer. It was priced low because it was “pre-owned”. When I got it home, I discovered the previous owner had left some files on the hard drive–letters to friends that were mildly incriminating. That started me thinking. What if my character buys a computer that contains information that must go to the authorities, but she can’t take it to the authorities because she’s on the run? With those two seemingly disparate ideas, the storyline for The Escape Artist was born. When Susanna Miller loses custody of her eleven-month-old son, she changes her name and escapes from Boulder, Colorado, leaving behind everyone she knows, including the man who has been her best friend since childhood. She lands in Annapolis, Maryland, alone, frightened, and always looking over her shoulder for someone who might recognize her or her child. Just as she’s beginning to feel safe in her new surroundings, she stumbles across information that could save the lives of many people . . . if she’s willing to go to the police. But going to the authorities means revealing her identity, admitting her guilt, and worst of all, losing her son.

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