What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Given that both my novels were based on fact, and that the facts were not in my field of expertise, I had to go to enormous lengths to find mentors who could guide me in subjects like religion and science in general and energy and climate change in particular. Relative to actually writing the story, the research was probably 85% of the problem.
I spent 10 years of my life as a member of the Board of Directors of a Muslim family owned company and this was of enormous assistance in allowing me to understand the Muslim way of looking at life. It did not happen by accident. I told the elder statesman of the family when we first became business associates that one of my objectives was to learn about Islamic culture even though this particular family was not religious in the formal sense. He was/is a true gentleman and also a sort of elder statesman in his community. We developed a strong relationship of trust and I believe I helped him significantly in his business. Over the years I came to understand that the “traditional” Muslim values and the “traditional” Jewish values are very similar. But it took over a decade. I already had a personal relationship with a highly respected Catholic priest, who kindly gave me invaluable guidance as to the Christian perspective.
Similarly, it took around four years under tutelage of my world-class scientific mentor for me to finally get to grips with the issues surrounding nuclear energy, over-unity electromagnetic energy and climate change.
As I had spent over 30 years in and around the finance industry, the central banking and economic issues were “my meat” so to speak, but it had taken a huge amount of research over a period of 20 years to finally understand what really drives the global economy; and it was quite frightening to discover that the central bankers don’t really understand the implications of what they have been doing. Effectively, their actions have been blocking the arrival of (meaningful) new energy paradigms. By analogy, we are travelling in dangerously shallow economic waters which are hiding exceptionally sharp rocks from view; and largely without either a compass or sonar.
Ultimately, the fact is that “energy” is what drives the world economy and that’s why both my novels focus on alternative energies to fossil fuels. Writing the fictional stories was the fun part. But even that took me a couple of years to master under the tutelage of Beyond Neanderthal’s editor/publisher. The big challenge in writing the books (the other 15% of the work) was how to communicate all the facts without boring the reader to tears. That’s why my stories lean heavily on humour and on the very human interactions and adventures of the attractive characters. I also rely a lot on travelogue type writing, where I take the reader to exotic places. If the books are ever made into movies, those movies will be visually unusually compelling in those scenes.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Abso-defi-lutely-nitely yes! The whole point of writing those novels was to communicate a primary message of hope, flowing from the subsidiary messages which define the seven “core” problems facing 21st century humanity and present some potential solutions to those problems. To find out what those seven core problems are, you will have to read the novels.
Will you write others in this same genre?
My books fall within various genres and it depends on who is the potential reader as to what genre I choose to emphasise. “Conspiracy Thriller” is the main genre of both books – because the largest selling novel of all time (The Da Vinci Code) fell into that category with around 80 million books sold.
Another main genre is “Sci-Fi Thriller”, and I have tried to model my work loosely on Michael Crichton’s work, because he sold around 100 million copies of all his books combined during his career. However, given the intent of the third (as yet unwritten book) these two genres will be inappropriate. Other genres that I have focused on in my first two books are “Science Fiction” , “Adventure”, “Spiritual”, all of which will be appropriate for my third book. I may have to read Jules Verne’s various books again because his work was oriented towards what the future might look like; but I will be emphasising the value hierarchy of society that I believe will exist in the future, after the dust has settled following the next – and final – down leg of the Global Financial Crisis.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was in it?
Again, abso-defe-lutely-nitely yes! We have talked about the “hardest” part of writing the books. Well, overcoming those obstacles required me to climb a steep learning curve on all fronts.
How much of the book is realistic?
Where the science is concerned, all of it as far as I have been able to validate it.
Ditto where the modern day central banking/economic situation is concerned
Ditto where the subject of religion is concerned.
I have used author’s license in interpreting the meaning of some of the biblical passages to which I referred, but even that is within the bounds of reasonable probability. For example, by cross referencing selected information in the ancient tomes of the various religions across the planet, I was able to arrive at a startling conclusion that is objectively defensible and, to my knowledge, no one else has arrived at this same conclusion – yet.
The stories are totally fictional but, again, they are based on carefully researched fact. For example, the little town in the Dominican Republic is just as I have described it in Beyond Neanderthal, right down to the names of the owners of the various retail outlets. It is a matter of fact that the experiences of the two main characters as they flew through the Bermuda Triangle were capable of replication in a laboratory. Indeed, what I described was drawn from those laboratory experiments as augmented by actually reported Bermuda Triangle incidents. For another example, the intentions of the military Junta in Myanmar (in The Last Finesse) were deduced from carefully researched fact as provided by the Democratic Voice of Burma, amongst other sources. This begs the question as to whether the military Junta has genuinely let go of the reins of power when they allowed democracy to prevail, or whether they have just changed tactics.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?