My old acting teacher used to say, “If you want something done, give it to the busiest person.” During my uber-busy schedule of working 60-80 hours a week, I somehow managed to find time to finish “Taking Liberty” by Robbie-Ann McPherson. This book was my much-needed outlet and escape from the woes of every day life.
I’ve heard that the greatest authors draw upon their life experience for inspiration, which is true in Robbie Ann’s Case. I’ve listened to her story and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her. She is truly remarkable and one-of-a-kind. Her inner beauty, heart and soul radiate through every word written in this novel, sentence by sentence, page by page.
As someone whose life has been up and down, like that of an EKG monitor, I can relate to the main character, Maggie. The book was hard to put down and I found myself re-reading things and assigning different meaning. Of course, I loved the book! I suggest it to anyone to read. As a fellow writer, I commend her on starting and finishing a work of literary art and putting it out there for the whole world to read.
Pick up a copy.
Amazon and Kindle: www.amazon.com/Taking-Liberty-Robbie-Ann-McPherson
Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taking-liberty-robbie-ann-mcpherson.
Q & A with the author.
AF: What’s the inspiration behind ‘Taking Liberty?”
RM: “I’ve been a writer my entire life; even as a kid I wrote these silly little stories, putting them together in books with construction paper and terrible illustrations. It was a lifelong dream to publish a novel. Thanks to Estep & Fitzgerald out of Los Angeles, “Taking Liberty” is hopefully the first of many. I spent a year writing it, editing, basically a hermit hiding in my house with my cat, Kilroy, in my lap, pouring my heart into this. It’s terrifying and cathartic at the same time to see it in print.”
AF: Out of all the places in the world, you chose Buffalo. Why?
RM: “I chose Western New York as the setting for the latter half of the story because I grew up here. The places are all fictional but are inspired somewhat by where I spent my childhood in Clarence, and other places I’ve visited around the Finger Lakes.”
AF: “What is the story about?”
RM: “The story is meant to point out where Maggie makes her own bad choices – where she can let go of things that she never needed to blame herself for, and where she actually has the power to change her life. There is never, ever any victim’s fault in an abusive situation, of course, but that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t made mistakes in other life choices. Once the pain and wounds actually heal, the victim needs to assign the forgiveness, love and anger she feels to the right people – including herself. It’s so hard for women especially to see those things clearly when we are emotionally damaged from long-term abuse. Our minds have been rewired by the abuser’s negative messages we internalized and we need to unravel it all. This is what Maggie’s journey is all about…finding her own straight line again underneath all the tangled wires.”
AF: You can’t stop now! Is there anything else in the works?
RM: “Right now I am working on two things: a very dark drama-thriller trilogy about purgatory and the afterlife that will probably take me a while, but every fictional place in it has a real counterpart somewhere around Buffalo. It’s very, very hard writing it because it is inspired by my teenaged brother’s suicide in 1991. You can imagine what it dredges up. Just like releasing ‘Liberty’ though, it’s terrifying and cathartic at the same time to get it out and put some of these feelings into words. I hope to release the first novel for that series in 2019. In 2018 my next novel will be called “Never Was,” and is scheduled to come out right before Christmas. It’s more along the lines of ‘Taking Liberty,’ about all of us who have these dreams for our lives, maybe from childhood, or we get married and think there’s a happily ever after, or we have kids and think they will grow up a certain way…and how things just don’t always turn out like we plan them. I guess a common theme in everything I write is that you can either see the great equalizer in life as pain, or you can see it as healing. Or even the two together. We are all going to experience both in life, no matter who we are.”