Hi, Pat. I’ve been following your other blog for quite some time now and stumbled across this one. So I decided I’d give it a try.
I’m glad you did, V.V. Tell me about your book.
Quick version: The Great Storms is a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi novel that will take the reader from the quiet suburbs of Naples, Florida to a futuristic jungle where the world as we know it has become a twisted nightmare of humanities’ faults.
Slightly longer version: The last thing twenty-seven-year-old Lydia Miller remembered was being in Naples, Florida. Hurricane Vita had been raging, but now Lydia finds herself in a small hut. A hut filled with people she doesn’t recognize. They have questions but so does she. She can’t find her seven-year-old son, and no one has seen him. Suffering from a bout of amnesia, Lydia attempts to piece things together. She believes her ex-husband may be involved. However, the more she sees and the more Xavier—a young man from the village—explains Lydia begins to question her sanity. The jungle has no patience for the weak minded and it isn’t the only thing to fear.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
Late night talks about politics, weather, the economy etc while working as a substitute newspaper delivery driver. I find there are a lot of “what ifs” that can be asked at night. All of those discussions led to the creation of this book.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I would say not a lot; the only thing I have in common with Lydia/Eve is that fact that we both dislike spiders.
Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
Migale is by far my favorite. I’m not quite sure why I like him. Perhaps it’s his humor, his way of putting things.
How long did it take you to write your book?
I wrote The Great Storms in three days back in 2007. It was a scattered mess, filling two separate notebooks. The beginning was here, the ending embedded there with parts from the middle mixed everywhere. It took a few months to arrange and transfer the work onto my laptop. I didn’t work on it every day—probably why it took me so long.
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)
I didn’t do any research during my three-day writing marathon. I barely ate. Afterwards, however, I did look into a few things. I used the Internet to look up locations, mutations, images of huts etc. I wish I would have saved the links so I could share them.
What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
As outlandish as some details of the book seem like huge pigs or mutated humans/animals, it’s real. Of course I exaggerated the frequency of such situations—it’s fiction—but these circumstances have occurred in real life along with climate change. There’s a bit of truth in fiction. I remember going to work every day and watching shows that would inspire me. As I rolled silverware, took orders etc, I would pay attention to the latest educational program before it was switched to football, basketball, baseball, even golf.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Not really. I find that if I write down my general direction the story never gets finished. I’m trying to be more organized with some of the other projects I have going on, but I guess I enjoy the chaos.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
Well, I could give you the fairy tale version of my wishes, but I think I’ll be realistic. I’d like people to enjoy the story for what it is. If it sparks something in them that’s even better but simply enjoy the story. Maybe realize that things are not always as they appear—change is inevitable but the way things change can be manipulated.
Does your understanding of the story you are writing change during the course of the book?
Definitely. Most of the time I’m not sure where I’m going until I’m there, then I have to go back and fill in certain spots.
What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?
I would say having the confidence to keep going. I always think something can be better, something can be tweaked. It’s hard for me to say, “ok it’s done” or “ok good enough.” It makes it hard to for me to finish anything, and then when it’s finished it makes it hard for me to send it out.
What one word describes how you feel when you write?
Where can we find out more about you and your books?
kindle link: http://tinyurl.com/9vehc4q
nook link: http://tiny.cc/xhxcjw
The print version will be in stores very soon.