What is your book about?
There is a lot of hype about the year 2012. Harnessing this energy, I set out to write a DOOMS DAY story that didn’t have comets, rogue waves, or solar flares. There are many layers to THE FALL OF MAN. On the surface, it’s about a young woman that is abducted by a secretive group with a warped agenda. However, it goes deeper than that. To me, it’s about a young woman’s journey of personal enlightenment.
What inspired your story?
Since early childhood, I found Patty Hearst very fascinating. I wondered, “How can a bright, beautiful person be brainwashed into joining a terrorist group?” Also, having been raised in a religious household was a major contributor to the theme. Another key influence was a short black and white film that I watched as a young child. The film was based on an early sci-fi writer’s work. It seared a scenario into my brain that I knew I’d have to explore further someday.
Where do you get the names for your characters?
Names are very important in this series. I make that clear in the first few paragraphs of Chapter One. Matt, Maria, Lucas, and Joann are minor characters that support my protagonist, mirroring Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s roles as disciples. One of my more clever names is Maria’s little cousin, Enrique, who had been put on house arrest. Enrique means: ruler of the home.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
Authors breathe life into their characters by giving a piece of themselves. Even though all of my characters have unique personalities, I can see bits and pieces of myself in them–just as a parent can see their traits in their children.
Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?
Characters taking on a life of their own is one of the benefits of being a fictional writer. Because I’m introverted and have a tendency of becoming reclusive, I’m able to live life through my characters. One day I might want to be a devoted house wife; the next day I might decide to be a slut.
Who is your most likeable character?
Joann is a minor character with a MAJOR personality. My protagonist, Katrina Wroth, compares Joann to a carbonated fruit punch with a double dose of sugar.
Do you think writing this book changed your life?
Definitely! I’m sure that we’ve all thought at one time or another, “How can God love everyone when there are so many bad people in the world.” Having developed a diverse range of characters, now I understand. I love all of them–regardless of their virtues and flaws. I’ve realized there is no such thing as black and white when it comes to people–we’re all shades of grey. It took becoming a creator to understand ONE.
Is THE FALL OF MAN a religious work of fiction?
No. Similar to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, THE FALL OF MAN is a secular story that contains religious elements.
What other works of fiction could you compare your story to?
I consider THE FALL OF MAN my Romeo and Juliet.
Do you keep a pen and notepad on your bedside table?
I wish I was that ORGANIZED! No, my random thoughts are scribbled on opened envelopes and strewn across my desk. I consider this scatterbrained method my contribution to recycling.
Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?
I must have SILENCE when I work. I don’t want the tone of my writing to be influenced by background music. Achieving silence is difficult in a household with four boys. Rifle range ear muffs only helps a little.
Why did you decide to release your story as a series of four novellas?
Originally, I was writing THE FALL OF MAN as a novel and intended to release it through CreateSpace as a P.O.D. Because I need SILENCE when I work, I decided to visit my mom for a few months to do my rewrites. Unfortunately, I lost the flash drive that had the second half of my novel on it. Devastated, two months went by and I was unable to even start rewriting the lost content. So, I decided to break the story into four novellas and release them one at a time as ebooks, forcing myself to meet deadlines. Later this summer, I intend to release the entire series as a completed work in print.
Describe your writing in one word.
Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
An ideal reader is an open minded person that isn’t easily insulted and–of course–agrees with me 100%, tells their friends how GREAT I am, and is liberal with 5-STAR ratings.
What do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
I want my readers to feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m a suspense writer; like my characters, my fans have been put through the wringer. They deserve a good pat on the back.
Vol. I and II of THE FALL OF MAN are currently available on Kindle. The rest of the series will be released in the coming months. Amazon Prime Members can borrow the novellas for free.
Click here for an: Excerpt from “The Fall of Man” by Gwendolyn Graves