Long before the Academy Award-winning movie, Spotlight, I faced the most challenging case of my legal career. It was that of sexual misconduct by a priest, back when the issue was vastly unreported. At that time, there was criticism of the secret settlements that for years kept such cases out of the public's eye and helped contribute to the church's cover-up. For me, the case was the kind of traumatic event I’ll never forget. That “never forget” event led to my first novel, Betrayal of Faith.
I am currently editing my 4th book of The Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. With each novel, I aim to call attention to a problem that must be solved if we are to make this nation better. In doing so, I am often reminded of a brilliant, and inspirational, speech from the movie The American President,”starring Michael Douglas as the President Andrew Shepherd.
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, and celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
The Zachary Blake Betrayal Series are not just your typical legal thriller with twists, turns, and suspense. Each book is intended to open one’s eyes to what is not only great about this country, but what is flawed, as is clearly defined by the lives of so many who struggle, live in despair, and face hatred, prejudices, and discrimination. My novels aim to call attention to the need to fix; to make America a place where every citizen has the right to pursue happiness rather than being lambasted.
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