From the monthly archives: "October 2013"

P6101390Questions for book clubs

Like many fictional characters, Tate isn’t alone in this world. He has a mother, Beth and a sister, Bree, and he reminisces about his grandfather Everett. His troubled relationship with his family is one of the main plot drivers in Almost Criminal. Some family issues to contemplate or discuss:

Father figures

Tate’s father is out of the picture. Tate sacrifices quite a bit to be the breadwinner, and is more protective of his younger sister that their mother is.  Randle and Anatole both assume a fatherly role at times. (in fact the Quill & Quire  review said that “Tate and Kennedy develop a Jim Hawkins/Long John Silver kind of relationship, with Kennedy filling the role of the charismatic father-figure Tate can’t quite trust.”

An inside note: in an earlier draft of the book, Tate used his newfound wealth and Randle’s truck to seek out his runaway father. While I enjoyed writing that chapter, it was a story line that threatened to take the novel in an entirely different direction. It ended up on the cutting room floor.

Mother figures

Why does Tate call her ”Beth” instead of “Mom”? Does he wish he had Jeannie and Anatole as parents?

His mother has been ill, which lends her some sympathy. But she’s not the most sympathetic figure. Despite all that, Tate seeks the reviews for her art show and is excited when it is well received.

Sister Bree

Like many children of erratic parenting, Tate and his sister are close. Ultimately Bree and Tate trust each other more than they trust anyone else.