by: Joelle Charbonneau
Happy Independence Day to everyone in the USA!
Independence Day was always one of my favorite holidays as a kid. More than all the other holidays, I always got the sense that this was a day we celebrated as a community. The town got together for a parade, a huge festival at the golf course and, of course, fireworks when the sun went down. Our neighborhood backed the golf course where the fireworks were set off. Every 4th, we snuck through a hole in the fence, dodged the golf course rangers and watched the fireworks from the closest green possible. I should point out that our parents did this with us. In the finest tradition of our founding fathers, we were rebels.
Everyone always likes to talk about the founding fathers with a sense of reverence. As if they were blessed with a sense of what the future would hold when they put pen to paper and told King George to take his taxes and shove them where only a proctologist would find them. I’m paraphrasing just a tad here, but you get the point. These men had no sense of what the future would hold. I’m guessing that five of signers of the Declaration of Independence who were captured and tortured as traitors might not have been so keen to sign their name had they known what was coming. But sign they did. 56 men made a choice that had huge repercussions for them individually, for their families, their friends, their community and their country.
The best crime fiction (yeah – it’s a writing blog, so I had to circle back) is often created from those kind of choices. A character makes a choice they believe is right hoping they know what the outcome will be. Only they don’t. That choice sets into motion a series of events that they couldn’t have dreamed of leaving us on the edge of our seat while we take the ride with them. In the case of our founding fathers, their choices led to war. Some lost their homes. Some lost their families. Others lost their own lives. Their story contains all the elements from which great fiction is made. Only their story is true.
Happy 4th of July everyone! Be safe.