How did your wife become involved in the novel?
All during the writing of this story, it felt like I was reaching to express a spirit so elusive that I’m reluctant to try to describe it here. Novels are just as much a journey for me as for the characters, and just after the wind had lifted Caitlyn out of Appalachia on that moonless night, I heard a song that expressed everything I’d felt and that I had wanted readers to
feel during Caitlyn’s story. As if the songwriter had been behind my shoulder throughout the entire writing of the novel, keenly aware of Caitlyn’s instinctive yearnings for the freedom of ﬂight.
In a way, the songwriter truly had been there, for she’s my best friend, the woman I love, my wife. She’d been putting together her album Beautiful Bird while I was immersed in Caitlyn’s story; because we both prefer to wait until something is complete to share with the other, neither of us had been aware of what the other was trying to accomplish at the same time. This unspoken synchronicity made the song of the same name even more special for me. Her song and the subsequent video has the emotional impact that I hope readers would take away from Broken Angel. (You can see the video at www.brokenangelsong.com.)
Do you have a favorite character in Broken Angel? Why?
Caitlyn would be the obvious choice, as she is the daughter that Jordan loves and wants to protect. But I have weak spot for a bumbling kid named Theo, who can’t see ten feet beyond, can’t stop talking, and will endure anything to escape. Billy too, a gentle giant who is much smarter than he thinks he is. And Pierce, my Harrison Ford tough guy, and even Mason Lee, the psycho. And. . .I guess I can’t really choose one.