You cover a lot of topics that have been systemic issues in our society. What was your approach? Was there research you used to inform your writing?
Because of the complexity of issues in the novel, it was critical to develop a deeper understanding of our criminal justice system.
My research was extensive, with well over a hundred sources from non-fiction books; memoirs; crime podcasts like Serial, In The Dark, and Innocence testimonies; published articles; documentaries; recorded interviews of the wrongfully incarcerated; discussions with the people and families that have been impacted by incarceration, to interviewing defense attorneys and former law associates from the Equal Justice Initiative.
Extensive resource materials are second nature to me because as an undergraduate I majored in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in African American History, Sociology, and Literature and my graduate work focused on counseling and college student development and Black identity development.
Looking back, the foundation of non-fiction books I used for research are almost all books that sold out or hit the NYT Bestsellers when protests began after George Floyd’s murder.