Painted Black is fiction. Or is it? In it I tried, as all writers do, to create a world as real as the one we walk around in all the time. For Painted Black, I tried to reflect what it actually feels like to be homeless on the streets. Because once a person experiences that, their misconceptions about the kind of people they meet there undergoes major change for the better.
It is sometimes difficult to tell which comes first, the reality or the fiction. I moved to Chicago from small town Illinois specifically with the idea in mind of having an opportunity to volunteer with the homeless. I know I had already begun writing my Jo Sullivan series before the move, but can’t remember now when I decided to center each book around the life of a homeless character. Does the writer write what she dreams and then find herself living it, or does the act of writing spark change in the life of the writer?