LAYING NEW TRACK: SOURCE MATERIAL

So remember me blathering about atomic power for my atompunk book? Well just today in our paper the South Jersey Times I find the nuclear island won’t have to build cooling towers, something environmentalists have desired. More on that next blog.
But the article got me dwelling on my book as dwelling is the only thing to do. Laptop is under the fine eye of my computer is killed brother. Writing us on hold. But it’s weird how the brain not only processes stories, but how we come across source material for those stories.
An article for today got my brain on atompunk, but not on the power source, but the personal supporting cast and how I picked one. Last week I knew my protagonist was in need of a buddy, a best pal. But I came up empty on the name and details. Two days later I’m on Facebook and wa-la! A black history group I joined posted an article on a guy named Frank Wills. Oh, who’s that? One of our country’s great whistleblowers.
You see, Wills was the security guard at the Watergate Building in 1972. After pulling tape off the lock of a cracked open door, he returned to find it re-taped…and called the Fuzz. What was uncovered were men rummaging the offices of the Democratic National Convention. Nixon resigns, scandals in abundance, Frank is a brief celebrity, etc. But Wills doesn’t make out well at all. He loses his job, has trouble getting work, moves home with his ailing mother and died in middle age several years ago. Most of my tales are of a guy with personal troubles battling the system. Fits right in.
I found this to be a triumphant and sad tale of a good man, of fame and how doing right doesn’t mean getting treated right. As my tale takes place in DC, I knew this cat and my protagonist would bond. With my guy being ten years older it’s like a big brother to Frank.
So I will use this real person, but give him his great qualities and a better alternate life. Why not?
Amazing where the ideas come from, usually when you least expect it. So Frank will appear at some point, alert and bold and trying to hold it down in an even worse world than Watergate. Still has Nixon though, can’t shake him.
Three cheers for Frank Wills. Three cheers for doing what’s right.

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