Your novel is about the JFK Assassination. Are the events in the book really true? As I tell my friends, everything in my novel is true, except the stuff I made up!
Honestly, I made every effort to keep faithful to the real-life events, players, and witnesses involved in the Kennedy Assassination. In fact, actual testimony from the Warren Commission report is interspersed into the fictional universe.
Since the JFK Conspiracy happened fifty years ago, I needed to inform readers about the people involved and the events leading up to the assassination. The tricky part was to weave fact and fiction together to tell a story. The factual components of the narrative adhere to the official record of what happened in Dealey Plaza in 1963, and the events leading up to the tragedy. It was particularly difficult to create motives for why the real-life historical figures acted the way they did. For example, how and why was Lee Harvey Oswald involved? Why did he murder a police officer 45 minutes after the assassination? And why did Jack Ruby kill Oswald two days later?
So, are real-life people featured in the book? Yes! In addition to Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, there are a host of other characters. Political ones: President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jackie Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, former VP (and later president) Richard Nixon, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Foreign Leaders: Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union.
In addition, Oswald’s wife Marina is in the book, along with Mrs. Paine, the woman who Marina lived with. And, the police officer who Oswald killed after the president was assassinated—Officer JD Tippit.
Pretty much everyone is a suspect.
How did you come up with the title? Wow, it was a long process. I brainstormed all different kinds of keywords related to the Kennedys and the JFK Conspiracy. Then I strung them together in hundreds of different combinations to best communicate what the book was about.
After spending hours evaluating the list, I realized all the titles stank, so I threw them away and used what had been the working title all along.
Did you write SAVING JACKIE K to entertain or to educate? Or to make us think “what if?” Without a doubt, my primary goal was to entertain. I want readers to have fun.
That said, it’s an interesting and informative topic, and I hope the book sparks thought and debate. It’s intriguing to speculate “what if,” and I got a chance to explore those scenarios when writing the novel.
What makes readers care about your characters? The heroes of my novel all have strong personalities, each with his or her own character flaws. So they butt heads and argue quite a bit as they are planning the mission to save Jackie K. But deep down, they each have a personal motive that propels them forward, and makes them vulnerable.
In spite of their faults, throughout the novel, the characters develop a deep affection for each other, and a fierce protectiveness of each other. Ultimately, they want to right the wrongs of the past, and they relentlessly work together to make that happen.
I’m hoping that readers cheer for the team’s successes, and mourn their failures along the way.
Tell me about your characters—both heroes and villains. The heroes of SAVING JACKIE K are stubborn, loyal, self-reliant, dedicated, and feisty. They all have a strong moral compass, and feel a righteous obligation to change the past for the better. However, one feels that the “ends justify the means.”
The main villain is the mastermind behind the plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Equally powerful as this real-life person is evil, the antagonist stops at nothing to achieve personal objectives, offering up innocent people as pawns and scapegoats.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG