'Orange is the New Black' author talks Season 3

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LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — The woman whose best-selling prison memoir has been adapted into the "Orange is the New Black" Netflix series is sharing her insight into the upcoming Season 3, saying it "holds some really amazing stories and twists and turns."

Piper Kerman said the upcoming season will feature backstories for some of the characters and the emergence of very intriguing new characters.

The show, created by Jenji Kohan, is about a woman serving time in a federal prison for carrying a suitcase stuffed with drug money to her ex-girlfriend. Kerman said shooting for its third season is more than halfway through but she can't offer spoilers or a release date.

Kerman is a consultant on the show, reading scripts and offering her advice on how to make it realistic. But she did not offer any inside scoop on when Season 3 will be available and laughed Tuesday night when asked if V, one of the show's main antagonists last season, is still alive.

"One of the things that Jenji Kohan has said about Season 3 already on record is that an exploration of faith is a big part of what she is planning and what they have scripted so far," Kerman said before addressing more than 400 students, faculty members and fans at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

Kerman also commented on a book deal signed by her former lover and friend Cleary Wolters, whose involvement in drug trafficking led to her imprisonment.

"I expect that my ex-lover's book will be a fascinating read," Kerman said. "She's had a very different life, and her story is very different from mine. For one thing, she was much more involved in narcotics trafficking, and for the other thing she served a lot more time in prison than I did."

Although Kerman has done very well for herself thanks to her memoir and its adaptation into a hit Netflix series, she said she would change her story in a heartbeat if she could go back to when it all began, in 1993, when she was 22 years old.

"I absolutely regret my crime," said Kerman, an advocate for reforms of the criminal justice system. "I think that while I'm so grateful to have found readers and I'm thrilled with the Netflix show, the truth of the matter is that prison is a deeply traumatic experience."

Kerman spent 13 months in a federal minimum-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut, just over a decade ago for her role in a money laundering and drug trafficking ring.

"The truth is that I caused my family and the people that love me most a great deal of pain and worry," she said. "And the other fundamental truth is my actions caused other harm in terms of other people's substance abuse and addiction."


Rodrique Ngowi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/ngowi

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