Goodreads
Goodreads asked Robert Michael:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Robert Michael Not my most recent, but for Cry Me a River, my idea was germinated by an idea for a character who had a strange occupation. I researched odd careers and came up with "remains relocation specialist." These are people that move the remains of the deceased (usually a container with ashes) to remote locations. They are responsible for the transport, chronicling any rituals for the family, and organizing any required personnel like a priest, photographer, or speaker.

I wondered what kind of person would take on such a career. I also wondered what kind of conflict would await someone who had to go to a remote location in a violent country. That's when I imagined my main character, Claire. I imagined that she was troubled by the death of her mother when she was a child, and her father's sadness and anger at his loss. Her career becomes a way that she denies herself emotionally, sort of an ironic twist. Then, when she takes the ashes of a woman back to her home in Colombia, Claire becomes involved with an attractive photographer and guide who has a secret past that comes back to haunt them both.

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