Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Writing Research: Visiting Imprisoned Loved Ones

I'm trying something new. I want to incorporate difficult situations that I've seen friends or acquaintance face in my writing. Maybe this isn't so new, maybe it's something I've done all along, but I'm now trying to be more mindful and open about it. I'm hoping someone who has faced a similar situation will speak up and help me make my story more authentic. Of course, not everyone will want to share their experiences--for some, the pain may be too raw. But I love and appreciate those who can be open--not because they want sympathy--but because they want to help others who may walk their same path. Not unlike the pioneers who built bridges for those who would follow them into uncharted territory. 
In my novella The Billionaire and the Misbehaving Beagle, my main character has a father who's been imprisoned for a white crime. I've never visited anyone in prison before, so I don't know what that's like, but I can imagine. But my imagination can only carry me so far.
So, I went on the internet and found images of the visiting room in the San Lois Obispo men's penitentiary (where my main character's father is serving) and I also found the following on Quora. https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-visit-someone-in-jail#
I didn't use it, exactly, because that seemed to skate too close to plagiarism, but I'm grateful I found it because it did answer some of my questions. And it also gave me an idea.
If you have visited a loved one in prison--or been visited while you were imprisoned--and are willing to share your experiences with me (I promise I'll be respectful with whatever you share and sensitive to your privacy) email me at kristyswords@yahoo.com, and I will send you a free copy of The Billionaire and the Misbehaving Beagle when it's published. I may or may not use what you provide, but you'll still get the book.
Heads up! In my next book, my main character is an epileptic. She's loosely based off of a woman that I once worked with more than thirty years ago. This woman swore she would never marry or have children because of her disorder. Her reasons were valid, but also sad. If you know someone--or are someone--with this disorder, I would love to hear your thoughts. And offer the same promises of privacy, respect, and a free book.

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