BLOG No. 34 A New Voice
It's been a longer time than usual between blogs, but this holiday season has been a difficult one for me. I expect to get back on schedule to eventually arrive at a September publication date.
My next novel is not so much an action piece as it is a psychological mystery. There is danger. risk, and treachery, but much of it is a struggle within the minds of the leading characters. It's not that I want to depart from the action drama formula; it's more about stretching my capabilities in areas that don't come as naturally.
To capture and maintain the interest of the reader in a work that relies more on mood and subtlety is far more difficult than creating an action adventure. But the goal is still the same: entertain and capture the imagination of the reader.
My continuing characters in the trilogy remain the same, in this - my third novel. The difference is that the struggle is not the obvious "who done it." What they encounter changes everything about themselves.
One of the major anxieties all society faces is that of unwanted change. We see it in all its ugliness in the Middle East. The Islamic world is quite content evolving at a slower pace than the rest of societies on the globe. However, the more technologically evolved societies like the United States, are placing tremendous pressure on every country to keep up or face being pushed aside. It's not a matter of right or wrong, it's a matter of perspective. I try not to pick a side because there might not be a clear distinction of what is best for the planet. As a writer of contemporary novels, I try to remain nonpolitical, as if I'm a commentator of what I observe.
That's what's going on in my second entry of my "Disaster Trilogy." I try to focus more on the struggles inside the minds of the characters more than what actions they take. A microcosm of what I'm trying to accomplish is found in the storyline. Technology is invading a part of the U.S. that has been successful resisting past attempts to modernize. Rather than focus on how this conflict takes place, the battles, the victories and the losses, I delve into the fears and anxieties of the protagonists, and how they are manifested in their interactions with the invaders.
I chose this theme because I have become fascinated with psychology of "change." Twenty-five years ago an industry sprouted up just to teach change to corporate America. Change became a catchword. Now the word is "disruption." In both instances, it's what happens when something old and comfortable is being challenged by replacement with something new. It's a daily occurrence, but that doesn't mean it can't be traumatic. Most of us can cope with change even if it means we go kicking and screaming. Some of us, however, cannot cope with it in rational manner.
It's this inability to cope with change that drives the characters in this novel. Some become desperate. Their desperation leads to the disaster that starts the mystery and continues to be a threat to all who try to find out what and who is behind it.