I got the idea for Kricket during the 2008 election when some fringe folks were claiming that the Democratic candidate Barack Obama was a Muslim and would make Christianity illegal and implement Sharia Law. It was cuckoo-bananas, but it made me think about what would happen if the fringe took control.
I wrote the first chapter ten years ago and walked away from it for a while as I tend to do. I didn’t start really working on it again until a couple of years later. But by then there was a big problem: I couldn’t imagine the intolerance I was trying to write. The United States had become increasingly more tolerant in my lifetime. And I do recognize that this was a perspective from my perch of white privilege. But LGBTQ rights were on the rise. Medical marijuana was becoming legal. We had a black president whose wife wore sleeveless dresses that showcased her strong arms. I was too optimistic to buy into my own writing. But I kept going.
I wrote and rewrote. And then in 2014 a miracle happened: an agent signed me to represent Kricket. I had made it to the Promised Land!
Over the next year, the agent and I went back and forth on edits. But something wasn’t clicking. Project-fatigue (pretty sure that’s a thing) set in, and I wanted to concentrate on On the Bricks. The agent and I parted ways before a single publisher saw Kricket.
It seemed that it was time to put my writing dreams to rest. I’d given it a good run, and I was tired of the ups and downs.
That feeling didn’t last. And soon after, Pandamoon Publishing signed me for On the Bricks. But Kricket was still on my mind. I just couldn’t see a way to fix it.
This is where having a supportive independent publisher in your corner really changes things.
I won’t go into the details of what made me lose my human rights optimism, as there’s really no point. But in late 2016 I knew it was time to make Kricket what I wanted it to be. And I had just the team to help me. One massive rewrite and a few rounds of edits later, this book is finally ready to see the light of day.
I don’t want to Kricket come off as anti-religion, though once it’s out there it is subject to the readers’ interpretations. The story is a cautionary tale about what could happen if we tried to make religion a requirement. During Prohibition our own government poisoned alcoholic drinks to teach drinkers a lesson. The government has no business trying to legislate morality. And often the politicians who want to tell us how to live don’t actually buy into what they’re pushing.
At its core Kricket is a story about a single mother trying to make ends meet in a world gone mad. We’re all just trying to do the best we can, and so is Kricket Foster. It’s just that her obstacles include extortion and bootlegging.