Thanks Whit for taking the time to respond to an interview.
Q: Am I correct in saying this is your first book?
A: That would be correct in the sense that we are talking about a book and publishing a story for reader’s entertainment.
Q: So you have published other types of books?
A: No, I have no other books that have been published but I do have extensive research papers that can be reviewed and read in the Pentagon library. Quite lengthy papers that address the use of stationary satellites in the early 1970’s. Those that are unclassified are available to the public today. By now they are all probably unclassified.
Q: What inspired you to write a fiction story?
A: I think it was a combination of several things that lead me to pick up the pen to start this adventure. I had been retired two years, so my wife and I had plenty of time to get a lot of our dream adventures completed. Television had become even more boring than it had been and I had just completed all the current books of the author’s that I prefer to read. It was winter and we were snuggled up to the fireplace and I decided I would write a story since I didn’t have a book available. Two years later I finished it since my wife kept encouraging me to proceed.
Q: You’re a first book author. Why would readers want to read your work?
A: I believe readers will be entertained by the story because I wrote it with the reader in mind. Don’t get me wrong. A reader that likes fantasy, romance, horror, sci-fi, etc. will not enjoy this story. Folks that like Patterson, Sandford, Parker, Johansen, etc will enjoy this story because it will keep them guessing. Does the protagonist get caught? Does he abuse the women? How do the women react? Does the FBI know who he is and why he is doing it? Can the lawyer of one of the kidnapped women catch the pervert?
Readers are not dummies, they read for entertainment and to solve the mystery before “The End”.
Q: You seem to have a lot of characters in your story. Do you think that confuses readers?
A: If a story is good, it will hold the reader. It’s up to the author to not confuse the reader. I read stories with a lot of foreign names that I end up calling them whatever I want so I can remember them. I read stories where the author keeps shifting from a characters first name to the last name and then back. I don’t consider that as friendly. I try to make my stories reader friendly; this is not a test, its entertainment. A publisher told me, “I like your characters, they are believable and real. I thought I knew some of them.”
Q: Why would you have someone or some people kidnap four women? Why four?
A: That does come across as strange. When is the last time you heard on the news, “Four women kidnapped in Omaha!” That is one of the great things about fiction; you have to read the story to determine the real reason.
Q: You said earlier that a publisher remarked about the character’s being believable. Did that just happen or was it your design?
A: It was totally by design. I wanted to make the characters like the people the reader knows. That’s why there is a workaholic corporate dad, a mother of two pre-teens, a professional woman with no kids, and a closet alcoholic wife of a lawyer running for federal office. Most readers will be able to put real faces to these characters and that my friend starts a whole new process between the ears of the reader.
Q: Why did you write about revenge? Is it some part of your life?
A: As Richard Nixon said, “I’m not a thief.” I will say, “I’m not a kidnapper!” When the story in my head started showing up on my laptop, it didn’t have a title, it was just a “story” filed in documents. I can’t remember how many different titles this story has gone through in the past two and a half years. But, I must say my wife was brilliant in selecting the final title. There was some grumbling when the old title was replaced with the current title but after some thought from the grumbler, they embraced the new title. Thanks, Becky.
Q: You didn’t answer my questions about revenge being a part of your life.
A: I was hoping you had overlooked that. No, I was just kidding. Revenge is the nature of the beast and we are the beast. Jesus was the only perfect one to walk this earth but even he took revenge in some cases. That statement will bring down the walls of Jericho. Back to your question; revenge is a part of our daily being and we don’t even recognize it as revenge because it is so so minor.
For instance, a coworker says, “He never puts up the sugar up when he is done.” Well he didn’t put it up because he thought he was being courteous and leaving it for others. So he takes revenge, he puts the sugar back in the cabinet after he has used it, on the third shelf. To him that was not labeled revenge.
We normally think of revenge as a dastardly act but it doesn’t have to be.
Q: Are you saying Revenge in your story is not a dastardly act?
A: That will be for the reader to determine and I assure you it will cover all the numbers on the scale from one to ten and that is the way it should be. The reader is in command.