Journal of a Novel – Number 1

The purpose of this post is to prepare myself to write a scene, one of the most complex ones in the book. The situation is:

  • The Sanchez Family of Diego Vallo, Mexico has been smuggling Mexican peasants into the United States for three generations. During the entire history of their operation they have never lost a single person nor have they ever smuggled drugs.
  • Now the Bandito cartel, an upstart splinter group, formerly part of the Tijuana cartel, have come to Manuel Sanchez, the Patron of the family, and informed him they are taking over the families’ routes and he must get out of the people smuggling business.
  • Manuel knows he cannot win a war with the Banditos and he is willing to assist them in mapping and taking over the routes but he knows that as soon as the Banditos have the route information they will kill him, every member of his family, and their staff, and take over the family hacienda in Diego Vallo and make it the headquarters for their drug running operation.
  • Through a chance encounter with David Green, one of the POWs freed in the first Southern Investigation novel, everyone involved with the release of the prisoners (which includes three DEA supervisors a Georgia Sheriff, four private investigators from Clinton, Alabama, and one awesome dog, and three former POWs, has come to the aid of the Sanchez family.
  • To implement their plan, Juan Ramirez, a former POW, has joined the Sanchez family, and he and Carlos Sanchez, Manuel’s oldest son, twelve people being smuggled into the U.S., and seven of the Banditos leave the hacienda, for the final trip before the Banditos take over the Sanchez business.


This scene will describe the hardships of the journey through the desert. My writing objective is to separate Carlos, Juan, and the peasants from the Banditos so the remainder of the Southern Investigation team can take out the Banditos without injuring any of the good guys. I’ve thought of a number of ways to make that happen and settled on this – twenty miles into the trip, the Banditos have realized that their best position logistically is at the rear of the group. That way they can make sure they don’t lose any of the peasants – not that they care about their lives; however, each is carrying a sling filled with drugs.

At the hacienda, two hours after Carlos, Juan, and party leave, Louis Garza, the Bandito’s boss, returns to kill the remaining members of the Sanchez household and their staff. That doesn’t happen because eleven well-armed and well trained individuals are waiting on them. What the Banditos thought would be child’s play turns out to be the beginning of a one way trip to a Mexican prison that was built for cartel members. (Out of order, but I’ll write that scene next).

With the hacienda secure, and all threats to the Sanchez family taken off the board, Southern Investigation radios for transportation, furnished by San Diego Choppers, (from Southern Investigation). SD Choppers, flying three Vietnam era helicopters pick up the personnel who secured the hacienda leaving the Sanchez family to hold the Banditos for pickup by the Federal Police.

San Diego Choppers flies twenty miles east of the trail before turning north to get ahead of the Banditos without being heard. Seven miles south of the border and three miles ahead of Carlos, Juan, the peasants and the Banditos, they prepare to land and insert the group, when the transmission one of the Huey’s fails and they are forced down. They quickly determine they have to move their ambush at least a mile south of the downed chopper to avoid discovery. They double time into position and wait for the Juan and Carlos and the peasants to pass. When they pass the rescuers note that the Banditos have dropped back to the point that they are out of sight.

Faced with the making sure they account for every one of the Banditos and getting the peasants to safety, they are rapidly running out time and choices.

That Mr. Steinbeck is the situation, and now, thanks to taking the time to think it through in writing, I’m ready to record it.

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One Response to Journal of a Novel – Number 1

  1. Bert

    My time frame hasn’t worked out on Tucson but it is still in the works, finished, edited, waiting for my final pass through.
    Bert recently posted…The Cancun LettersMy Profile

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