Johnson Hambley explains the story as one “that takes place in the outer ripples of a terrorist act” and how this impacts one character.” She did much research on terrorist organizations to lend convincing factuality to the book, and also wove in the experience of being in banking in Boston, which she said provided some very colorful stories and exposure to interesting schemes.
“These were the threads through which I wrote the story of a regular person in an extraordinary situation,” she said.
She said growing up on a dairy farm in a small town in New York, as well as her 20-plus years living in Rowley on Warehouse Lane also contributed to the “crispness” of the details of the story’s setting.
“What is most gratifying to me is that people have said they think about the book and Jessica long after they have finished reading, and it’s keeping people up all night — in a good way,” she said.
Sue Scheuer of Rowley, who has sold nearly a dozen copies of “The Charity” at her Body Basics Pilates studio in town, counts herself among the fans of Johnson Hambley’s book.
“This is a very interesting book with well-developed characters and setting that you become entrenched in — there are sections that make you cry and other times when you just can’t put the book down,” Scheur said.
For Johnson Hambley, who still works her “day job” as a biotech recruiter, the focus now is on writing a sequel to the book, which will be called “The Troubles.”
Additionally, she is promoting “The Charity” at signings, such as her recent one at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport. Her next signing will be at the Wenham Tea House for afternoon tea on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 3 to 5 p.m.