I am currently writing my second novel, Orchard Road. The premise comes from my thirty-two years of experience as a clinical psychologist—knowing too many times what a patient is going to say—knowing it is not going to be good. When patients say, “I’ve never told anyone this,” they are sharing their deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets. Almost all involve having been victimized—abused sexually, physically, emotionally. Sometimes the abuse is ongoing. Most times it occurred years earlier. In every case, the abusers have left behind damaged or broken lives. As a psychologist, it is easy to feel the pain of our patients—and to feel rage at their abusers. Sometimes it is impossible not to carry our patients’ pain with us, long after their sessions are over.
Set in Chicago, Dallas, and Singapore, Orchard Road tells the story of Dr. P.J. Copeland— a clinical psychologist who is running from her own dark past.