Introduction To Out Of Control
The idea for Out of Control came in 1996 when I was working at a small pizza place in a small Midwestern town that got robbed. It was a very surreal experience to watch a guy in a ski mask enter the pizza place and demand all our money.
I remember watching the scene unfold while I kept making the pizza for the order I was on. The three of us that were there that night actually laughed at the guy because we thought it had to be some sort of joke. It was no joke. He pulled the gun out of the waistband of his pants and pointed it at the woman working the register. She opened the drawer and handed him all the money we’d made that night—over $500 if I remember right. He hopped in an old Oldsmobile with his buddies and peeled away. We called the cops right away, but they never did catch the guys.
The owner of the Pizza and Carryout place I worked installed video cameras, but it didn’t stop the guys from robbing us yet again just three months later. I was there the second time too. It didn’t appear to be the same guy who robbed the place the first time. He was wearing a mask, so I couldn’t tell for sure, but he acted different and looked a little shorter than the first guy. I suspected he was with the same group of guys that had been in the get away car last time. In any case, they cut the phone lines and the man came in waving his gun around. He wanted to make sure we didn’t doubt the seriousness of the situation that time and we didn’t.
Both robberies left an impression on me. Even though it wasn’t my money personally, I still felt violated and angry after it happened. I suppose writing about it a year later helped me deal with the trauma in some way.
I was questioned by the police, but it was some three months after the robberies took place and my memories weren’t as clear then. I wasn’t sure if the gun they used was a revolver or a 9 millimeter. Not that really seemed to matter. I kept wondering why they didn’t dust for fingerprints or anything. They never did catch the robbers. I heard from one of the other women who’d worked those nights that it might have been the brother of the man who lived above the pizza place. It made sense, but nothing ever came of that lead. I quit eventually for a safer job in a larger city.
I was never held hostage thank goodness, but I thought it would make a good story if I had. When watched the movie Playing God in 1997 it sparked an idea to combine some of the action from the movie with my own personal experiences. The movie Playing God isn’t particularly memorable, but I felt it had great potential anyway. I used the name Jake Luder because it reminded me of David Duchovany. Jake comes from his role in The Red Shoes Diaries. M. F. Luder was the anagram that Fox Mulder used in the X-Files when he wrote about Conspiracy Theories. Fox, course, then is a direct reference to David Duchovany as well. I love Angelina Jolie and thought her role in Playing God was too small for such a large character so I decided to name my character Joely after her, but use the same spelling as Joely Fischer’s first name. Téa is a reference to none other than David Duchovany’s wife Téa Leoni.
So you can see how the story came about in all of its twisted glory.