What was the hardest part about writing this book? I wasn’t prepared for the difficulty in writing about a character based even loosely on my own child. It’s harder to put the character in danger. Have them do slightly bad things. Have them have sex.
Will you write others in this same genre? I’m told that my collection all falls into the sub-genre known as magical realism. I’ll certainly finish all six novels in this sub- genre, but after that I may try my hand at crime novels or something in a far more imaginary world.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There is. There really is. I hope that it is obvious by the sixth book but if it isn’t I’ll be very happy to come back and talk about it.
How much of the book is realistic? Because it’s part of the sub-genre magical realism, the world of y1 is meant to look just like the world you and I live in. My goal is to convince you that Zane can alter his appearance like he does without the use of any magic or any yet-to-be-invented science.
How important do you think villains are in a story? As important as heroes. The villain in my first novel, x0, is a hateful dastardly being and it was a stretch for me to write from his warped and sadistic point of view, so I knew that the villain in y1 had to be different. And he is. He is every bit as despicable in the end, but far more slippery I confess that I enjoyed making up a sociopath who believes whatever is convenient for him at the moment
Zane swore as a child to someday protect all of the odd people in the world. He studied chameleons and muscle groups as he taught himself to alter his own appearance, and it turned out that skills for blending were very helpful to a young boy too smart and too different to fit in well.
But as an adult, things have changed. Zane finds that he now just wants to be himself. He gets a degree in neuroscience to understand abilities that even he recognizes as astonishing. Worst of all, he is fast discovering that everyone is odd. He hadn’t counted on that.
When he lands in the sales department of Penthes Pharmaceuticals, he begins to uncover layers of corporate secrets that ultimately will hide surprisingly vile plans. Sent on a sales boondoggle to the South Pacific, he finds others with talents as surprising as his own and with problems far worse. As his new friends flee the malicious schemes of those who would control them, Zane wants to help. Their freedom-loving philosophy of y1 calls to him.
But first, he must deal with a murder charge. And an unsavory boot camp manager. And serious repercussions from the fact that not everyone at Penthes likes him, or wants him to knows the mysteries that the company has worked so hard to keep hidden.
Can he help them all? Can he even help himself? Fantasy, reality and a bit of speculative science come together as Zane uses all the unique abilities he has to resist turning from a murder suspect into a murder victim. Then he has to sort out just how to keep that childhood promise.
Genre – Speculative Fiction
Rating – PG13 (occasional crude language & main character is gay)
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