I found it interesting and ironic that Angel had worked for many years in mental health but had such trouble connecting with the therapists and mental health people in jail. I imagine I would feel the same way in her situation…I would want people to actually empathize with me rather than seeing me as someone to manage per their training, or would just not be ready for what they had to say. Can you speak to that aspect of her experience a bit? Did the work you did in that field influence your writing?
Andrea Carr AUTHOR REPLY
Well, she didn’t feel the psychologist there could help her get the answers she needed. Therapists guide toward one’s own resolve of issues, that wasn’t going to come from anyone around her then. Angel is a mother first, so her first concern was to take care of her son not herself. Angel connected with the jail staff whom she felt could help her get what she needed. To see him, make arrangements for her son’s visit. Jail is a place to be housed, not get therapy. It isn’t prison with a lengthy stay her sentence was only, 45 days. But, still too long to wait to see her son under the circumstances.
My work influenced my decision to write about it, because of my training I knew it could help process my own emotions. I based my story on my own life experience with my sister’s suicide. Also, it’s not so simple of a task to get through it, in jail. No one knows, including Angel, what are the circumstances are or any real particulars about it. Questions have to be asked and processed. A lot of questions about it were unanswered. Angel didn’t know what she needed yet, from anyone.
I chose to tell the story from the perspective of the character Angel, because I felt most comfortable from there. I felt she was the only person, I could think for in the story. Also, to tell from one point of view as in life. Whoever, one identifies with in the story perhaps, can see themselves through Angel’s eyes and be influenced to purge some emotional baggage or have a clearer understanding of family problems. To use as a tool to identify, relatable misunderstandings of the reader if possible. When is it okay, to hold back the truth from someone you love? With the best intentions it can be devastating.
I don’t think I know, enough about life yet to write from any other perspective. I have to like the character for now to be them in my writing. I need to understand them to convey the essence of who they are.
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