March 4, 2019
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Guest Post by Joseph David Wilcox
A few years ago, I began writing a novel about a flower farmer who falls for the attorney foreclosing on his third-generation family farm.
The idea for my book grew out of my curiosity about the lives of the guys who sell flowers on Pittsburgh street corners. I knew nothing about flowers, the floral industry, or foreclosure. So I began reading about these subjects and talking to experts.
On the topic of foreclosure, I was lucky enough to find Matthew Herron, managing attorney at The Debt Doctors. When we first talked on the phone, I told Matt I was writing a novel that involved bankruptcy and foreclosure and wondered if he might help me better understand the process and the law.
During our discussion, not only did I gain valuable insight into this world, Matt also helped me better understand Fergus.
Fergus McQueen is the main character in my story. Matt completely understood his plight: he worked hard at the business he owned, did not spend frivolously, tried to do the right thing, and to make the best decisions. Yet somehow despite all his resolve, he still found himself in foreclosure.
Matt talked passionately about Fergus as if he was a real person, referred to him as an unlikely hero that could help people better understand bankruptcy.
Our discussion not only helped me better understand the bankruptcy and foreclosure process, it also helped me see Fergus as more than words on a page. I began to see him as a living person.
I could tell that the idea that Fergus was in foreclosure but remained the hero of my novel excited Matt. It’s is the core of the message he wants to send, that people don’t have to be embarrassed about bankruptcy or seeking help with their finances.
“Just because you can’t pay your bills doesn’t mean you’re a bad person,” Matt said.
I know now that if Fergus knocked on Matt’s door, sauntered into his office in his clodhoppers and a handful of unpaid bills and asked for help, he would still be the hero of the story.
Joseph David Wilcox is a writer living in Bethel Park. He is writing his first novel, Alchemy of a Blue Rose. Learn more about Joseph.