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Conspiracy of Silence
by Gledé Browne Kabongo
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved books and words in general since I was a kid. I started out reading Nancy Drew,
Hardy Boys and anything else I could get my hands on, including newspapers. When I was eleven, I
decided I wanted to be a journalist. It seems I’ve always had a love affair with writing and becoming
an author has always been a lifelong dream.
2. How did you come up with ideas for your books?
I joke with my family members now that anything they tell me could potentially end up a plot point in
one of my books. The truth is ideas come from listening to people, or you hear something on the
news and ask your self, what if? And take that to another level. Ideas can come from anywhere.
3. What expertise did you bring to your writing?
My protagonist is a marketing executive and I have quite a few years of marketing experience under
my belt. I know the area of Boston where she works fairly well so it was easy to set up scenes in
4. What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I’m a TV junkie. It started in my teenage years. I think I was the only 14-year old who watched the
Golden Girls on Saturday nights in the late 80’s. I was also a walking TV Guide, I can still remember
the Saturday Night lineup on NBC. It went something like this: 227, Amen, Golden Girls Empty Nest
and Hunter. If that’s not weird, I don’t know what is.
5. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I plan on becoming a bestselling author. I’ve wanted to write books since I was a kid and now it’s finally come true. I have my next three books in the pipeline and a fourth one bubbling around in my head. By the time I complete the fourth one I’ll probably have ideas for the next five and so on. I also want to expand into other forms of writing, especially screenwriting.
6. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I don’t belong to a critique group but I rely heavily on Beta readers for feedback. I’m a tough critic so I
won’t show anything to anyone until I’m fairly confident I have a decent manuscript in progress. I’ve
learned a lot about self-editing with Conspiracy of Silence so that’s a skill I hope to improve on.
7. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I’m a plotter so I outline the entire book or as far as I need to go. I develop the characters and work on the plot points simultaneously. I have to know the beginning, middle and end up front although there might be variations by the time the manuscript is complete.
8. Do you have an all time favorite book?
I’m a huge reader and it’s tough to choose just one but The Count of Monte Cristo and Caribbean by James Michener are definitely on my top 5 list.
9. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I am very excited about my next book tentatively titled Swan. It’s the story of research scientist Dr. Shelby Cooper who receives a mysterious phone call with a shocking ultimatum: leave her family forever or take the rap for a murder she didn’t commit. I already know how this one ends so I’m having fun building the supporting characters and the plot points.
10. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
There are two in particular that stand out. The first is when the protagonist goes through this period of loneliness and despair because of a series of intense losses she suffered. The second is during the courtroom showdown where she’s testifying. She had to relive some pretty ugly stuff that happened to her. I’ve had readers tell me the courtroom trial is very intense.
11 If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
What writer hasn’t fantasized about this very question? I certainly have. I would cast Thandie Newton, Zoe Zaldana or Sanaa Lathan as Nina Kasai. Jennifer Hudson or Jada Pinkett Smith as Charlene. Phillip Copeland, my antagonist, I have a hard time with. He’s such a disturbed individual, a total sociopath yet quite charming and good-looking to boot. I think Michael Dorn who played Worf the Klingon in the Star Trek TV series might be a good choice.
Nina Kasai is a gorgeous, Ivy League educated executive who would do anything to keep her past a secret, even from her husband. Seventeen years ago, she ran for her life and the truth has been locked away in the pages of her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell—ever.
When Nina lands the cover of a prestigious business magazine however, she can no longer hide from the powerful enemy she escaped. Phillip Copeland wants to be the next Governor of Massachusetts and he’s not above using his power and influence to silence Nina. He warns her to keep quiet about what happened all those years ago—or else.
As the stakes are raised, both politically and personally, Nina realizes the only way to win this game is to tell the truth. But who will believe her since her diary has been destroyed, and the only other witness isn’t talking?
Nina’s one chance at reclaiming her life hinges on a dramatic courtroom battle where nothing is as it seems. And when the verdict is read, four lives will be forever altered.
The telephone rang at three a.m. A drowsy Nina answered it.
“I have bad news.”
She didn’t need a psychic to tell her that. It was three in the morning.
“What is it?” she asked Dan McCloud.
“It’s Constance Buckwell. She’s dead, Nina.”
Nina turned on the lamp on the nightstand and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
“How could she be dead? I just spoke to her last night. She emphatically told me she was going to lie on the witness stand.”
“It’s a tough break, for her and for us.” Dan McCloud couldn’t hide his disappointment. Even at this ungodly hour, he was thinking like a lawyer.
“How did she die?” Nina asked.
“Heart attack. She was on her way home and collapsed on the bus. She made it to the hospital alive but died shortly afterwards.”
“This isn’t a good time to bring this up, but we just suffered a major setback and we need to rethink our strategy,” McCloud said. “This case is going to come down to your testimony. I’m still optimistic about our chances, but you have to be the most compelling witness in this case. Your recollection of details is what’s going to persuade a jury to vote for a conviction. Can you meet me at seven?”
Nina shook Marc awake. “We have big trouble.”
“What?” he asked without moving.
“Constance is gone. No more star witness.”
Marc popped up like a Jack-in-the-Box. “Where did she go?”
To hell is my best guess.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Gledé Browne Kabongo began writing at age 14 when she covered soccer matches for her hometown newspaper. She has also written for the Patriot Ledger and Metrowest Daily News, two Massachusetts based newspapers. She earned a master’s degree in communications from Clark University, and once had dreams of winning a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. These days her dreams have shifted to winning the Pulitzer for fiction, and a Best Screenplay Academy Award. For the past decade, Gledé has worked in senior marketing roles for organizations in the Information Technology, publishing and non-profit sectors. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
Author website: http://www.gledebrownekabongo.com
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