Arts & Culture

Hilton Head Island resident writes novel about life and death of Osama bin Laden

The actions of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida shaped the world over the past decade. For her first novel, Gerri Wilson wanted to show how it could affect lives on a more personal level.

The Hilton Head Island resident has published "Wicked Game." It follows three college friends whose lives are brought together in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Wilson describes how bin Laden and the terrorist attacks impacted the lives of her characters and her own.

Question. Tell me a little about the book.

Answer. It's a story surrounding the life and death of Osama bin Laden. But it's really about the three characters who went to college together. Their lives are all brought back together. I would say it's got a little political espionage. A little romance. Nothing too hot and heavy, though. A little action. But nothing too intense.

Q. How big of a role does bin Laden play?

A. He's very much in the background. But he's what's driving the plot. There's some true events in it, a description of the mission to end it all. Otherwise it's all fiction.

Q. How long have you been thinking about writing this book?

A. I've had the story in my mind for a long time. Of course, last May, we had the proper ending (with the death of bin Laden). At that point, I really started to focus in on finishing the book.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I've written a lot but not a novel. I've written a lot of prose and poetry and sonnets and fun stuff. I had this story and when the proper ending happened it just made sense to move forward with it.

Q. Where were you on 9/11?

A. My husband, Jeff, and I were in New York and we were scheduled to fly back Sept. 10. Our flight got canceled because the weather was so bad. We were scheduled on the same flight the next morning, which would have been when everything was happening, but as we were walking out, the agent stopped us and said, "I've got tickets for a flight this afternoon." We thought, why not? I just remember it being very foggy as we left that afternoon. You had a hard time seeing the city or the towers. Looking back, it's all very eerie.