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Est. April 5, 2002
November 08, 2018 - Issue 763

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The Man Who Fell From the Sky

It all started several years ago. I conceptualized a story that dealt with race, justice, and revenge. I was interested in having the main character be Cape Verdean American in part to address the evolution of an African people who came to the USA voluntarily (beginning in the 19th century). A population, that I should add, that has both a different yet overlapping history with other African Americans (those of us brought to North America or the Caribbean in chains).

Through my “third eye” I came to envision the story, framing it as a murder mystery that takes place in 1970. But I still did not write it.

It took me a while to justify to myself that it was legitimate for a political activist, such as myself, who writes non-fiction, to delve into the world of fiction. I felt almost guilty, thinking that it might be perceived as frivolous. But one day on vacation with my wife and daughter I told them both the idea for this story. My daughter sat there not looking directly at me at first. She then said: “Dad, I think that you have an idea there. You need to write this. In fact, you might have an idea for a series.” My wife smiled and agreed with our daughter.

In 2016 I got to work on the first draft of the manuscript, completing it in about 3-4 months. I looked for an agent, since I know next to nothing about the world of fiction, and was totally unsuccessful obtaining someone. A friend of mine in the entertainment industry told me that agents are there for people who do not need help, and are not there for those of us who do. Whether that it is true or not I do not know, but I started to despair.

My luck changed when I ran into Tim Sheard, publisher for Hardball Press. I had met Tim in the past but we never spent any time together. He asked me what I was up to and I told him about the manuscript. He asked for the first chapter and a synopsis. He later contacted me and asked for the rest of the manuscript. The next thing I knew, he was offering me a contract.

And then the editing started!

Writing the book was a wonderful experience. Editing was hell. It is very challenging editing fiction and I learned an immense amount from Tim. But after more than a year of editing, the day has arrived and the book is ready for ‘prime time.’

I hope that you will go to Hardball Press (the book is also available through Amazon) and purchase a copy. The reviews that I have already received are phenomenal, if I say so myself.

Some people have asked me why I wrote The Man Who Fell From the Sky. I tell them that we all have stories contained in our heads that we want to tell. This was one such story. But it was also a way of discussing very real political and historical issues through a creative lens.

As I have come to learn, writing fiction brings with it certain risks. When one writes non-fiction, one exposes one’s thoughts and ideas. When one writes fiction, one exposes one’s soul and one’s heart. You are sometimes exposing demons or issues that you have grappled with. You may also expose hopes and aspirations. In either case, it is a tremendously exciting and valuable experience.

My hope is that you will enjoy The Man Who Fell From the Sky should you honor me by obtaining a copy. Editorial Board member and Columnist, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of  TransAfricaForum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” - And Twenty Other Myths about Unions and the novel The Man Who Fell From the Sky. He is also the co-author of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice, which examines the crisis of organized labor in the USA. Mr. Fletcher is also Co-editor of "Claim No Easy VictoriesThe Legacy of Amilcar Cabral". Other Bill Fletcher, Jr. writing can be found at Contact Mr. Fletcher and BC.

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