The next book in the Rivals in Love drops into the published category today. Love on Air, Book Four, featuring the media and news, wrote itself in many ways. At points, it became surreal when I would write a scene then it would play out in reality in the daily onslaught of news.
Diamond Crandall, another one of the six siblings in this Chicago family, anchors a cable news show each night. His producer, more concerned with ratings than ethics, brings in a new reporter from Chattanooga. Hope Colson, a young co-host on a morning news show, is eager to move up and accepts the job offer to work on The Diamond Report with Diamond Crandall. However, Diamond is dismayed to discover his producer hired Hope because she’s a woman, and she’s an African American. Hope hails from Baltimore where her family suffered an unthinkable tragedy five years earlier. She keeps this from her new co-worker even when she panics when her first assignment brings her to the front lines of a mass shooting at Navy Pier.
I wrote Hope’s story days before all the political nonsense and chatter began about Baltimore. So, it was strange to have chosen that city when all manner of nasty things were being banded about violence there. I’ve visited Baltimore several times and know people who live there so I’ve been interested in the city with so much potential fight its way back from its bad reputation. Then I wrote a scene about the mass shooting and two weeks later the weekend of horror from El Paso to Dayton occurred. Maybe it’s not so unusual because both Baltimore and mass shootings are often in the news.
As an author, I can choose to turn those negative stories and tragedies into positive life forces, which is what I did in Love on Air. There can be hope after the worst things happen. It’s hard for me to forget what’s happening in the world outside of my office, but I can create stories that try to offer a solution and a way out of the darkness.
And one final word, on Love on Air. Journalistic ethics does not have to be an oxymoron.