Published: March 21st, 2014
Ever wonder what it feels like to have it all-family, career, health, money-and not be happy?
Ann Olson takes her life for granted until her young son, Travis, disappears from the backyard one evening. Searching for her son, Ann throws caution to the wind. Soon, she finds herself enmeshed in the seedy world of Mexican drug dealers who operate just across the border in Tijuana. Does Ann, an atheist, embrace Christianity despite her husband warning that her pastor friend is more interested in converting her than in finding Travis? Does she make it out of the drug tunnel alive, or is her rashness her downfall? And is Travis's disappearance related to that of other recently missing children in San Diego?
A story of a mother's love, courage in the face of evil, and her unexpected journey of self-discovery along the way.
Why a book about kidnapping?
When I was a young girl living in 1970's Italy, kidnapping was a big topic of conversation. A high-profile kidnapping in Rome had spooked parents so much that some of my Italian classmates started coming to school with bodyguards. I remember my own parents discussing the situation in front of me and my sisters. Years later, these buried feelings from my childhood inspired Sufficient Ransom.
How is Sufficient Ransom different from other kidnapping stories?
I wanted my story to offer more food for thought, so to speak, than your typical story about a kidnapping. So I combined the perspective of a mother who has issues with my interest in religious issues. The result, so I am told, is a mystery/thriller with a thought provoking theme.
What were some of the challenges you faced in writing this book?
When I started this novel I really didn't know much about the craft of writing, though I've always been an avid reader and I have a degree in English Literature. They say that ignorance is bliss. It my case it was, because if I had known how daunting a task it is to create a good book, I might never have started. When I showed the first draft to a professional novelist and got an earful, I re-wrote the whole story. After showing the second draft to an editor, I re-wrote much of the book again. After my editor reviewed the manuscript a third time, I made even more changes.
Every step of the way I assured the professionals and friends who read the manuscript that I wanted to hear the "brutal truth" about what was wrong with the story. My view is-if I don't know what's wrong with it, I can't fix it. Now that I am more experienced, it's easier to be more objective about my own work, though I'm sure I'll still need to have my next book professionally edited.
What do you hope readers will learn from Sufficient Ransom?
I hope this book inspires people to see what's important in life, to discover that they are stronger than they realize, and to stop and think before taking action in difficult circumstances-especially when your emotions are pulling you in the opposite direction.
About the author:
My love of stories started when I was very young. Listening to my father's simplified version of Shakespeare at bedtime awakened my imagination. When I was six, I moved from suburban Boston to Italy with my family. Living in a two-bedroom apartment in the industrial city of Turin we didn't own a television. I spent my free time reading The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and many other juvenile fiction classics. My passion for literature really took hold during those years.
We returned to the States when I was eleven, to the same house on an acre of grass and trees that we had left. The main floor of our home was always neat and clean, with plastic covers on the common area furniture to keep the children and the dust off, while downstairs my father's thousands of stacked books held dusty court. To this day, I love well-used books.
When I was younger, the thought of writing a book seemed so arduous to me. I wanted to work in business. At Boston College, I majored in English because I loved the subject. I figured I would learn about business by working in companies, not by studying them. After working in commercial real estate, investment banking, and in my own recruiting firm for many years, I decided that what I really wanted to do was write novels.
Author's US/INT Giveaway
"The role of religion in tragic circumstances is given a well-crafted twist in this intriguing thriller." - ForeWord Clarion Reviews