Why I Wrote “An Agent for Arielle”

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by Parker J. Cole

Celebrating Black History Month is a great opportunity to show how African Americans have contributed to the history of the U. S. and around the world.  

I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight my latest book, entitled, “An Agent for Arielle”. This book is a part of a multi-author series that tells tales of romance, mystery, and suspense. 

The Pinkerton Matchmaker series gives ‘being married to your work’ a whole new meaning. 

Archibald Gordon, head of the Denver, Colorado office of the Pinkerton Agency has received news — hire female agents.  He advertises the position and applicants from all over the country start to pour in. 

There’s just one problem; each female recruit will be trained by an existing agent. How do you protect her honor and reputation while still working the case? The answer seems simple. Marry your trainer for the duration of the case. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

The Pinkerton Matchmaker series, although fictional, is based on the real Pinkerton Agency. Allan Pinkerton, the founder, was a progressive of his time. He was the first to hire women and blacks.  He saw slavery as the curse of this great nation. Some of his closest friends were of African American descent and he and his wife also helped blacks on the road to freedom. 

It’s this rich historical background that my book, An Agent for Arielle, takes place.  

An aspect that I wanted to touch on in An Agent for Arielle is that Arielle Bradford of mixed ethnicity, born of a French privateer turned sugar plantation owner and a Haitian wife. She is the eldest daughter. Beautiful, vain, and spoiled. In my mind, I wanted to personify certain aspects of the 21st century. Arielle is highly intelligent and has been gifted with many opportunities. When she runs away from her father, it’s to escape an obligation to marry a man whom her father says, ‘Will tame her.”  

When one is used to having one’s way, the idea of restriction, of boundary, of structure is abhorrent.  

Caleb Smith is a former slave and Union spy. Meeting Arielle unsettles him because he can tell she has never been enslaved. In Caleb, I wanted to personify certain aspects of the struggles of those who have gone before us. They succeeded through great peril, hardship, and adversity. Caleb, unlike Arielle, understands the gift of knowing how to read and the blessing that comes from it. He worries about his freedom being taken away. He’s a Pinkerton agent, knowing that his freedom doesn’t, in this historical context, make him equal to those around him, but he learns to live within those confines. 

Arielle, used to the attention of men, can’t understand why Caleb doesn’t acknowledge her brilliance. For his part, Caleb resents her and the fact that she never had to endure what he had. 

One of my goals in writing An Agent for Arielle was bring a message about never forgetting the struggles of the past while still taking advantage of the opportunities available for the present. For African Americans, there was a time when they weren’t allowed to read and forced ignorance was placed on them. Now, illiteracy is high in certain parts of the population. There was a time when children were taken away from their mothers and sold into slave. Now, abortion rates are high in the African American community.  

This is not to say that there isn’t discrimination, racism, and inequality against African Americans in the 21st century. We see and hear stories about it all the time. But our own personal development, our own desires to succeed and do better, that truly is something we can work hard for. The way we do it is by remembering those who died for the opportunities we have now and do what we can to be better.  

A few years ago, as I started to take my writing seriously, I wrote about my ancestor who was kidnapped and lynched. You can read about it here if you’d like. It was then I came to the conclusion that I had to succeed or else, what was the point? 

I want to thank authors like Beverly Jenkins, Piper Huguley, and Vanessa Riley who write stories of multicultural love in the midst of the struggles of the past.  

So, as we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans, lets press on toward tomorrow by looking back and blessing those of the past.

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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