icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

My Writer's Journal

Behind the Books: Drummers of Jericho

There's nothing like moving to a new city to stir up the creative juices. I had barely gotten settled in Texas when the '90s gulf war forced the return of my stepdaughter, Vered, from her school in Israel. She came to live with her father and me and enrolled in the local high school. It did not go well.

Vered wanted to play her flute in the marching band, but when she learned that the halftime program was based on Christian hymns played while the band marched down the field in the form of a cross, she rebelled and I called the ACLU. All that separation-of-church-and-state stuff didn't seem to apply in Denton. Things went downhill fast, and when the band was barred from performing their halftime program, our girl was targeted. Her life was made miserable. There was one boy--ONE BOY!--who came to her defense. It wasn't enough, and eventually she dropped out.

When I wasn't tearing my hair, I was saving articles from the local paper. The situation made national news, but when it all finally calmed down and life went on, I began to write DRUMMERS OF JERICHO, about a Jewish girl who is vilified, and a church-going boy who has the courage to stick up for her.

There's happy ending. Vered got her GED, graduated from college with a Fine Arts degree, launched a small publishing company in Alaska, and is now in grad school. One thing more: she published my HOTLINE series in e-book form.
Be the first to comment