Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Alcatraz Correction:, Why You Must Escape With Me

One night like any other night in 1962 something astonishing happened:  three cons became the only ones to escape from the backs of their cells on The Rock...then either swim their way to safety or be taxied on a waiting boat.

No one denies the first half of that claim.  But the world divides then into camps:  those who insist the cons had to have drowned and those who refuse to believe that they did.  Members of the first camp are governed by percentages, odds in favor or against.  They're the ones who are eager to tell you that the book you're at work on will probably fail:  after all, 95% of all published books lose money, 3% break even or turn a modest profit, 2% bag the brass apple.  The bay was too cold, they'll inform you.  A section of the raft was found, along with a waterproof bag containing personal contacts, etc.  All others who'd tried to swim either drowned or thanked God they were caught.

And yet some of us are ruled by faith:  that our books have a chance...that our spouses may beat doctors' dreadful diagnoses...that we can whip our addictions despite the odds against us...that we can escape from the prisons of our characters or histories.  In other words, we must believe three nobodies did beat The Rock.

THE ALCATRAZ CORRECTION is a present-day thriller about the Sistine Chapel of escapes a half-century ago...and the fates of the convicts who bolted.  This is the book that I wanted to write since my trip to Alcatraz in 1980.   Cheers to three heroes who fired my soul.

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