Why David Baldacci featured CBS 6 anchor Cheryl Miller in his new novel 'A Calamity of Souls'

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 17, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- “A Calamity of Souls” is the latest novel from former attorney and Henrico County native David Baldacci.

Baldacci is the international best-selling author of nearly 60 novels, published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries; with 150 million copies sold worldwide.

The courtroom drama is set in 1968 in a racially divided Virginia, where two lawyers — one Black, one white — make enemies as they fight to free a wrongfully accused Black defendant in a double-murder case.

Baldacci says he had the idea for this novel over ten years ago, and after working on it off and on over the years, was finally able to craft the story he wanted to tell and says it is “very autobiographical” and says he “laid everything on the table; and put my heart and soul and all my skills as a storyteller and writer because it was an important subject to me”. It is set in Southwest Virginia, but Baldacci says it is really about his experiences growing up in Richmond.

“A Calamity of Souls” introduces new characters, lawyers Jack Lee and Desiree DuBose who must work together to find justice for a Black man in a time when the fairness of the justice system is still very much challenged. And, if you’re an avid CBS6 watcher, look for a character in the book you may be very familiar with.

Several of Baldacci’s books have been made into feature films, including his first, “Absolute Power” starring Clint Eastwood, along with the Hallmark classic, “The Christmas Train”, and a story based on his mother’s life, “Wish You Well.”

Baldacci has several other projects in the works to be translated to television and the silver screen, including possibly this latest novel as well.

Baldacci and his wife, Michelle, are founders of the “Wish You Well Foundation”, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts.

His interview with CBS 6 anchor Cheryl Miller (a long-time friend) will give you more insight into how “A Calamity of Souls” came to be, what the title means, what he wants the reader to take away from the literary journey, and what his next projects are--both published and on screen.

You can see David Baldacci in conversation about “A Calamity of Souls” with Virginia-based author S. A. Cosby on Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Ashland Theatre.

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