The Howard Watson Intrigue series

 Why I write what I write 

Based on a bunch of years of receiving "no's," in the mail from literary agents, I am still a messenger of some sort. I have not quit. I used to call myself a "closet activist" but no more. I have emerged from this moniker to write about an FBI Agent (fiction) who deals with global problems that hit America's shores:
illegal drugs, illicit diamonds, illegal logging, tobacco smuggling, and shameful human trafficking.  
The issues above have brought those who are poor, oppressed, homeless, depressed, jobless, hungry, and saddled with low self-esteem into a sort of bondage that has allowed those "industries" above to flourish. Seems America - the country that has offered to take care of its "tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse, the homeless and tempest-tossed" - stopped lifting its lamp a while ago beside the golden door. 
I like to believe that I tell a compelling story for the changes that I'd like to see, that make sense, and that has a justifiable benefit to those in need. Perhaps I want to show compassion, seek compromise, and embrace humility around these tragic occurrences in today's society and to make sure the bad guys get their just rewards. Maybe I want to place a spotlight on the less fortunate and to seek help and resolution from those in positions of authority who can correct, lessen, or erase the difficulties that I am trying to communicate to my readers. Perhaps that's why I write about global problems that hit America's shores. The shores offer so much to its people, especially freedom of religion, speech, the press, the right to assemble and to petition. It seems we always want to change "the way things are" and justify that the change is necessary and reasonable. Writing is the vehicle that helps me to connect person-to-person, not as an expert or a salesman, but as a partner, thinking together about a problem that needs to be solved. Do I have relevant expertise or experience? Do I seem genuine, or might I be trying to scam someone, particularly my reader? Not at all. 
Based on the global problems I write about, which are often considered obscure for most Americans, I research the issues thoroughly. When I don't quite know which way to go, I consult an authority on the subject. You know why? I want to make sure in my book The Lie that the illicit diamonds problem is disclosed to the reader from the victim's perspective in the Congo. I want the reader to feel good about the three women in The Pact who erase from the earth, several big-time drug dealers. I want to make certain in The Smoke Ring that the tobacco smugglers preying on people addicted to nicotine go straight to jail. In The Standing People, I want the unethical wholesaling of young girls in the new slavery and erasing a country's natural resource run out of business for good. Lastly, being the courier of bad news, I want to make sure the subject of mental illness stemming from sexual abuse is delivered correctly in The Scheduler. 
Yes, I am a messenger. Before you kill me, at least read the message. 
 #joannfastoffthewriter #howardwatsonsonthecase #mysteryandintriguewiters #womenmysterywriters #blackwomenmysteryandintriguewriters


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