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NEW RELEASE and INTERVIEW
The Paranormal & Dystopian
by K. D. McLean
JOLT is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an interview with the author. You can get the book for only $0.99 during December, so get your copy now! Make sure you visit the other tour stops as well.
What if it cost you NOTHING to put gas in your car? What if you paid nothing to heat your home or cool it in summer? What if your electric bill was only for new light bulbs? How would that change your life? A real pipe dream, right?
Joel Heath, PhD has dedicated his career to making this pipe dream a reality. He’s obsessed with unlocking the secret of cold fusion energy. He’s come so close, but the final piece of the puzzle eludes him.
Which is a good thing, for Joel actually. You see, Phil Devlin’s energy conglomerate earns billions in profits with things just the way they are. He’s been keeping tabs on Joel. Phil was ruthless in attaining his stature of wealth and influence, and he’d protect his position with ferocity. He can crush Professor Joel Heath with a text message.
Neither man knows the planet is 90 days away from global slaughter, triggered by an oil war. One man does know. He has been cursed with prescient visions. These visions have shattered his life, plummeting him from an established career to begging on the street.
Joel’s simple gesture of compassion to this homeless derelict is rewarded with a dazzling insight. He has the key! This jolt of clarity begins with a touch, a touch that can send the world spinning out of control.
Because Phil Devlin sends that text message.
He kept his head down. Like blinders on a horse his stringy hair kept the faces of the people ignoring him from his peripheral vision. He had been out on the street begging all day and now deep into the night. With each step his feet ached from the cold. He placed them as softly as he could, every pace agony.
He was muttering to himself, arguing with the unseen tormentors of schizophrenics everywhere.
“No, no, no! I won’t! You can’t make me!” repeated over and over again.
The rank stench of too many clothes and too few baths surrounded him, an unseen barrier between him and the shoppers and diners rushing home.
He paused for a moment. “Okay! Okay!” he muttered as he approached the entrance to Odessa’s. He brushed the hair from the side of his face and peered in the window. Brown teeth peeked out from behind his salt and pepper beard when he grimaced. He sidled backwards until his back rested on a telephone pole. He wasn’t even forty years old and was worn out.
He jingled the coffee cup at passersby. “Gotta quarter? Gotta dollar? It’s cold out here. Gotta quarter? Gotta dollar? It’s cold out here.” He remained as unseen as always.
Interview With the Author
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Wow. So many. In my newest book I was inspired by some of the writings of Stephen King of course. But also Naomi Klein, and Paul Krugman for the politics and economic ideas that inform my book.
What age group do you recommend your book for?
While I think it would appeal to all ages, I’ve been told that it’s really a book for adults that are sick of paying their utility bills!
What sparked the idea for this book?
An article I read that told me that we’re paying about 20-25% more for gas for our car than we need to because of Wall Street speculation. A lot of writers get ideas by asking a question that begins with ‘what if’. I asked myself, “What if we were able to discover an alternative source of energy that would make oil, coal and nuclear power irrelevant?” The book took off from there.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
A good story is always about a person in a situation and how they handle it. So as soon as I asked my ‘What if’ question, my next question what ‘Who did?’ From there, it took on a life of its own.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The science research on fusion energy! I had to make the development of the LITE (Low-cost, Infinite, Total Energy) device plausible. Then the research on the political and economic power wielded by oil companies today – that part was pretty frightening, to tell you the truth.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
Well, first of all, I hope they enjoy the story! While I’d love to be the spark that increases awareness of our lack of research in this field, I want my readers to enjoy the adventure that Joel, Elise, Charlie and the rest of my characters have.
How long did it take you to write this book?
This book took almost a year to write. There were a lot of research questions I had to get right in order for the plot to stay plausible and interesting.
What is your writing routine?
I’m more of an outliner than a seat-of-the-pants writer. So, when I get my first idea, I write up a couple of paragraphs about the story. Then I flesh out my characters – I write a bio for each of them (in this book, that took quite a while, because there’s such a cast!). Then I outline the book chapter by chapter.
When that’s all done, I start writing, and commit to 2,000 words a day for my first draft.
How did you get your book published?
I clicked a button! I’m independently published and this novel is exclusive to Amazon.com.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
All I can comment on is the independent route of course. The first thing I would advise is to finish what you start. Whether it’s a short story, or a novel, once you begin writing it, keep at it every day until you type ‘The End’. There are so many writers with unfinished works, so many ‘The Ends’ that have yet to be written.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have so many interests! I love to read (that’s almost a cliché, isn’t it, that writers are readers, no?). I’m also a sculptor, and enjoy working on that physical art as well.
What does your family think of your writing?
My partner, Desmond, is completely supportive. I bounce ideas off him, and he’s always the first to read my work. He tells me when things are working, and also when my writing isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
It was a pretty good childhood. I grew up with my sister, and we’re very close.
Did you enjoy school?
Yes, I did. From elementary all the way through college. I was never crazy about homework (who is?) but I had great teachers and went to good schools.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I couldn’t get enough of it. I was constantly reading.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I started ‘seriously reading’ early and got hooked on the Nancy Drew mysteries. They were numbered on the spine, and my library had the entire series. One summer I remember wanting to read every one of the books.
Who were your favorite authors as a child?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Not very long ago. I started my first book two years ago and finished the first manuscript in six weeks. By the end of it I was hooked.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I think so. My parents were big on ‘finish what you start’. They instilled in me a sense of self discipline that I can still see in my work process today.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
It’s great hearing from my readers! It’s really cool that people who don’t care for my work leave bad reviews of course, but people who really enjoy my books take the time to email me. I honestly can say getting that first email from a reader is one of my most gratifying memories.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a ghost story. I’m not going to say anything more about it for fear of jinxing anything other than saying it’s scaring the bejeezus out of me as I’m writing it!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Katie. Best of luck with your new project.
About the Author
Katie lives in Canada near Lake Ontario with her partner Desmond. They are living the life that they’ve always dreamed about – writing, editing and collaborating on books. Both are alumni of Queen’s University in Kingston and are frequent visitors to the Tyendinaga reservation, where the novel JOLTis set. She has published a series of adult romance books as well as a romantic comedy, recently released – Funny Business.
For relaxation (what is that?) she and Desmond enjoy walking their neurotic pug, trying different recipes together (Des cooks, Katie helps) and watching HBO movies, followed by immersion in their hot tub. There’s almost nothing better than star gazing in the frigid air while being toasty warm … Well maybe skiing at Mont St. Anne is a close second.
In taking on an epic of the scale of JOLT, Katie has been inspired by the words of Goethe.
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”