Lincolnton resident Joanne Carani drew on her experiences of being in a law enforcement family to write Georgia Boys, A Father's Legacy. Her late husband, Frank Carani, spent 10 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department; her son Brett (pictured) is a Columbia County sheriff's captain in Detention Services and her son Brad is a chief deputy with the Taliaferro County Sheriff's Department.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Joanne Carani had no intention of writing a book about her family.
But a lot of experiences from living in what she called a law enforcement family ended up in her fiction work entitled Georgia Boys, A Father's Legacy.
"It's similar to our life in law enforcement," said Carani, 69, of Lincolnton. "It's fiction. But it's based on what I've seen and what I know about law enforcement. Most of it is just fiction and things I know that could happen."
The book is written as a tribute to her late husband, Frank Carani, who retired from the Miami-Dade Police Department after 10 years and died in February 2001. Carani has twin sons, Brett Carani, who is a Columbia County sheriff's captain in Detention Services, and Brad, who is chief deputy with the Taliaferro County Sheriff's Department.
Mrs. Carani spent several years working as a secretary for her husband's department in Miami and the state attorney's office.
"It's about a law enforcement family and their life," said Carani, who completed the book in mid-2001 after nearly nine months of writing. "(The two main characters') father was a captain in the Investigations Division and he supposedly was killed in the line of duty. But his two sons, who are also in law enforcement, couldn't believe it, but they had no proof otherwise."
That is, until they followed a witness to their father's murder to Texas, sidestepping corrupt police officials along the way, Carani said.
"I enjoyed the book," Carani's son Brett said. "I can see bits of the family in the book.''
Carani said she did not use her family, only her experiences and knowledge to mold the story and characters, but her husband and sons influenced the characters' personalities. In fact, the front cover features photos of her husband and two sons in uniform.
"That's what I did, not necessarily thinking of them," Carani said. "But I guess instinctively, I was. ... One of my friends said they could see a lot of Frank in it. ... But people who knew him and knew the boys do see that. I would just use something they would do or they would say."
When Carani published the book, she said she had no intentions of selling it.
"But once I published it, people were interested in it, so I started selling it."
Carani said she had been mulling over the book idea for years and began writing during retirement in 1999. She first wrote Home is Where the Heart Is, which centers around twin orphans on Tybee Island in the 1930s and 1940s and what came of their lives. She hopes to publish it before the sequel to Georgia Boys.
"While that one is (being published), I'll get back to this one," Carani said. "It's something I really do enjoy."
Unlike most authors, Carani had to research the publishing process instead of her subject matter, which came naturally after so much exposure to law enforcement.
But she said it's the reaction to her books that keeps her wanting to write more.
"I just got a lot of feedback,'' she said. "That's what keeps me going, when I get a phone call from someone telling me they enjoyed it and want to know when the next book is coming out," Carani said.
Georgia Boys can be purchased by visiting www.authorhouse.com or by calling (888)280-7715. It also can be ordered through local book stores.
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