In my novel, Brought To You By The Color Drab, my main character, Race Paloma, is caught shoplifting and taken in to the juvenile detention center. A probation officer is assigned to his case, who, in my story, plays a positive role in Race’s life.
Interview With a Probation Officer
Researching for a novel takes me into many places, and introduces me to many people from all walks of life. I personally interviewed a juvenile probation officer to gain background information, and also gain familiarity with how the system works. He was patient and kind and readily answered all my questions.
This officer was from my area (Tulsa, OK), and not Cincinnati where the novel takes place. The system may work differently in different cities; but basically, it’s pretty much the same. The probation officer is overworked, often underpaid, and most of them care deeply for these kids.
A Tough Job
This is a tough job—oftentimes a heartbreaking job—and I certainly wouldn’t want to do it. They see kids whose lives are going down the tubes due to bad decisions. Some teens want to change and get out of the trap; others continue to go with the flow.
As a church youth sponsor, I’ve been hanging out with teens for over 15 years, and I can say I’ve seen a glimpse of what can happen when teens make wrong choices. Nothing to the degree that a PO has, but enough to keep me in my role of working with teens, loving teens, and encouraging teens!
I guess that’s why I so love to write novels for teens!
If Brought To You By The Color Drab sounds fascinating to you, take a minute and download the first two chapters right here!