My current fiction project is based loosely on the immigration enforcement raid on the Swift meatpacking plant in Worthington, Minnesota in December of 2006. I’ve finished the first draft and will be working on first-round revisions fall and winter 2014.
After they befriend Viviana, an undocumented worker and single mother from Mexico, Keith and Dawn Tilley’s life is upended when Viviana is arrested in a workplace raid at a turkey-processing plant in their small Minnesota town of Firebird. Viviana is deported, and Keith and Dawn find themselves caring for her infant daughter Rosa, whom they call Ruby. After Viviana dies trying to re-enter the U.S. to be with her children, Keith and Dawn adopt Ruby and raise her as their daughter, while Viviana’s relatives take Ruby’s older brother Alejandro. As Ruby grows up and learns more about her mother’s fate, she becomes increasingly troubled and as a teenager begins to succumb to alcoholism and addiction. Now nearly two decades after her mother’s deportation, Ruby wants information about her past and Keith races to track down her brother Alejandro before his daughter destroys herself. During his search, Keith’s conceptions of country, family and the law are changed forever as he works to save his daughter’s life.
Check back for excerpts to be posted periodically.