Women's Journal

Candid Conversations: Bestselling Author Frances Metzman Sheds Light on Her Latest Thriller, ‘The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil’

Candid Conversations: Bestselling Author Frances Metzman Sheds Light on Her Latest Thriller, 'The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil'
Photo Courtesy: Frances Metzman

By: Michael Beas – Atlas Elite Publishers

Frances Metzman is the brilliant author of ‘The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil,’ the provocative and thrilling second book in her bestselling series. In this electrifying story, Celia and Marcy, the fascinating Cha Cha Babes, find themselves enmeshed in the harrowing world of human trafficking. Celia and Marcy are thrust into a perilous situation where they must navigate treacherous real-world events, face grave threats, and make difficult decisions. Metzman’s portrayal of their journey is poignant and gripping, taking readers right into the harsh realities of human trafficking alongside Celia and Marcy, while also highlighting the resilience and bravery of these characters. 

We are thrilled to delve deep into the mind behind this fascinating story. Frances Metzman joins us to discuss her inspiration, the challenges of tackling this sensitive subject, and the powerful message she conveys through her work.

The Cha Cha Babes, Celia and Marcy, are the protagonists in both of your books. In ‘The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil’ these baby boomers and remarkably adept accidental sleuths tackle the issue of human trafficking.  Aside from crafting a riveting story that resonates deeply with readers and keeps them engaged until the very last word, your books dismantle ageism. Was it your intention when you started writing this series, to address this topic?

Yes! I did intend to “dismantle ageism” (love that term). For several years I wrote articles for a literary journal about the power of older people abstracting life’s experiences and conflicts in a way that brings understanding and insights to manage life in a more joyous way. 

Also, mental and emotional hurdles for older people are not that different from those of younger ages – relationship issues, finances and becoming a best friend to themselves. But as we age, some aspects of life can be more exciting. Adult kids go off into the yonder and retirement kicks in. Seniors can begin to utilize their new-found freedom by experiencing youthful fun again; better sex, more socializing, entertainment, reading, travel, curiosity about new things and sharing laughter. 

The book blends elements of hard truths, mystery and humor, and takes on the topic of Human Trafficking. How did you manage to balance these different themes while writing?

Managing all the elements was difficult, no question about it. This novel is character forward. Foremost is developing depth for the main character/s to resonate with the audience no matter the age. Timing and balance is crucial – particularly when you are creating a page-turning story. The protagonists are logical and flawed to add to the complexity. Concentration on plotting is vital. Research is huge. It has to be true to life. Each new segment has to be introduced seamlessly and connect in order to forward the story. There can be no jolting the reader out of understanding what’s going on or forcing them to reread the previous pages. This is where understanding of the principles of fiction come in. 

What was one of the challenges you faced while writing this book, and how did you work it through? Conversely, what was one of your successes?

Discipline. When I hit a snag, I started doing housework – which I hate. Then I stop that foolishness and get to it. More importantly was connecting the main characters to the women and children sex slaves and figuring ways to expose the perpetrators. They make the decision not to retire back to Florida and stay to find what justice they can. Figuring out how they deliver that help was the most difficult. They make many discoveries about how the cartel operates, locally and globally, to transport the women to various countries. The big question I needed to answer was how to beat the murderous cartel at their own game and operate out of a relatively safe place. 

The ending I think of as a major success. I had to work on it for quite a while, but it said a lot about the main characters. 

As a writer, what do you hope readers take away from ‘The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil’? Are there any future projects or plans you can share with your readers?

I’d like for the readers to root for the main characters who wish to see justice and put their lives on the line to do so. Perhaps we can all awaken that altruistic part of ourselves in smaller ways. For our part, we only need to see a suspicious incident and report it to the authorities. 

I want to help people be aware of the dehumanizing, horrendous enterprise that uses women and children as ATM machines. They are forced to continue servicing men on a daily basis for long hours until they either die of exhaustion or are killed because they are ill and unable to work. In general, the facts of sex trafficking are not well known in this country. With knowledge and watchfulness, perhaps we can help identify those captives who are in transit with their pimps and report them to the authorities. They may refer to the man transporting them as daddy. The pimp speaks for them, and they may look underfed. Many children are younger than ten years old. It is the large cartels that need to be stopped. Too often it is a little guy/pimp with a dozen women that gets arrested. 

There will be a third sequel. The concept is about a union of non-denominational people who are welcome to join, no matter what their religion, beliefs or nationalities presently are. Despite espousing bother/sisterhood, there are dark secrets. 

With 2024 your book has hit the bestseller list. You are a two time bestselling author, what is that like for you on a personal and a professional level? 

My gratification is in having shown that older people (particularly women) can develop the know-how to solving major, complicated crime cases. I wish to expose greed, white-collar crime and major worldwide crimes, sometimes hidden and under the radar. It started when my hackles were raised by the many professionals and business people I knew who committed white-collar crimes. Why do they do that when they can earn high incomes honestly? Greed, yes, but why take such a foolish risk of losing a career and upending family? Hence, my fascination with crime. But now I’ve moved to a more rarified crimes. 

When you finish a book, what is your favorite way to celebrate?

My mind gets a rest and a sense of relief washes over me. I’ve raised and sent my characters out into the world on their own. They’ve now got what it takes to do the job for the next sequel. Yet, the crimes they bump up against are so different and complex they find there’s more to learn. 

A portion of the profits will be donated to an organization that helps serve the needs of victims.

‘The Cha Cha Babes Dance with the Devil’, is available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all independent book stores.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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