Why the book, and why the title Anguished? After three books in the JD Pickens series, I wanted to continue the series with Pickens and add more depth to his character, and what better way to delve into his character than to create angst in his life, which began as one of the titles.
I use a whiteboard as Pickens does and list plots and titles. The plots just come, and the titles follow. I never know what I’m going to write about; just plot and go, that’s my motto. I began by referring to the last paragraph in Murder Knows No Boundaries when Pickens receives an urgent call while on vacation with his wife and daughter. That would have been a good start, but I wanted something more dramatic, so I chose a 911 call about a man getting mugged and the caller wishing to remain anonymous.
The victim was Pickens’s father and ended up in a coma in the hospital. I wanted to see if Pickens would be stoic or fragile or both. I asked myself how I would react to my father getting mugged, in a coma, and possibly at death’s door. I also asked what readers would do, and that’s how the plot thickened.
I glanced at my whiteboard and saw that some of the potential plots would make good chapters and scenes. Without a definitive outline, I began writing chapters in no specific order. Later I would put them in order as the story evolved. Like when Pickens discovers, his father was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and someone else’s father was the intended victim. Now I had two sons wanting to avenge their fathers’ muggings, but how would they do it. Apart or together?
Once that was resolved, I added more angst to Pickens by having his best friend shot in the back and left for dead. Then I had another friend shot. Trust me, Pickens had more angst than anyone could handle, but Pickens was Pickens and managed to weather the storms. I also showed his humble and caring side by attempting to help an abused boy. I’m not Pickens, but I had difficulty dealing with his angst. But since I’m the author, I had to suck it up and write the story because I knew there would be no book if I didn’t. It’s another reason I enjoy writing this series and writing about Pickens.
With all the angst in Pickens’s life, I settled on the title Anguished as it seemed fitting. That title was never on my whiteboard, but I liked it, and now you know why Anguished won out in the end.
George Encizo is the author of several award-winning novels. His first novel, Blocker’s Bluff, was published in 2013. Since then he has published seven more. A retired banker and an accomplished watercolorist, Encizo took to writing because of arthritic fingers and could no longer hold and control a brush. In need of a creative outlet, he turned to writing and has been writing over a decade.
His second novel, The Farber Legacy, was awarded a gold medal in the 2015 Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards. Since then, his other novels have also won awards.
His latest novel, Anguished is the fourth in a series of JD Pickens Mysteries. He is currently working on more in the series.
When not writing, he is either in the gym or working in the garden with his wife. He gets inspiration from everyday life and ideas come to him from out of nowhere. He and his wife live in Florida.