I had the basic plot mapped out of DEADLY DESIGNS, the second novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Soccer featured prominently. One of the villains (perhaps the kidnapper and murderer…you’ll have to read the book when it comes out to find out) was a soccer fanatic. He also had links to possible Islamic terrorism.
So there I was, in my own world, writing along, strengthening the plot, deepening the characters, piling on conflict when I learned soccer could be seen as a huge crime to certain Islamists. A little research shook my sensibilities. I discovered in 2012 Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh was sentenced to 25 lashings for drawing a parliament member in a soccer jersey. More recently, 13 Iraqi fellows were executed by ISIS for watching a soccer game. This floored me and gave DEADLY DESIGNS relevance I had not anticipated.
The final draft of DEADLY DESIGNS is close at hand. I don’t have a cover yet, and find my mind has been boggled by the insanity of real life. I do expect to have the novel released this spring.