Q & A
Sea of Crises Q & A
Q — What made you decide to write a novel after practicing law for so many years?
A — I love to write, always have. For me, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crafting a sentence or a phrase that feels just right, that does exactly what I want it to do. I figured from the time I was a kid I’d become a writer. And, in a sense, I did, because writing is such an integral part of the law. It’s not the same as writing a novel, of course, but there’s still a great deal of cross-over. A lawyer has to communicate in a clear, organized and compelling manner. It’s a great way to hone the craft. Still, years had gone by, and I hadn’t yet done what I’d said I’d do. And it bothered me. Then I got an odd break. The economy slowed, and it had the effect of easing some of the pressure I’d been under keeping up with an extremely busy law practice. I found myself with evenings and weekends free, and I realized it was now or never!
Q — Where did the idea for Sea of Crises come from?
A — It was one I’d been kicking around for a few years. My favorite author has always been Alistair MacLean. He wrote several terrific novels in the 1960s and 70s, books that I discovered and devoured in high school. One of MacLean’s favorite techniques was to put a relatively small cast of characters, including at least one with a dark secret, in a remote, harsh and isolated environment and let the sparks fly. I was casting about for such an environment in which to stage my adventure when I thought of the moon. I loved it as a setting, particularly because, though it’s been featured in a lot of science fiction and some horror, it hasn’t been the venue for much mainstream fiction. And it fit two of the criteria. It was certainly harsh, and it was remote. But was it sufficiently isolated? After all, I realized, the astronauts in the Apollo program were being constantly monitored. So, I thought, what if they were cut off from all communication with Earth? That would be eerie, not just for the astronauts, but for their loved ones back at home. Then, I thought, what if something were to happen that would prevent the astronauts from ever telling what actually took place? Wouldn’t that make for an interesting mystery? Finally, I asked myself, what if I were to have the sons of one of the astronauts discover the secret, a secret that could get them killed? And suddenly, I had my basic outline.
Q — How much research went into the writing of Sea of Crises?
A — A lot. I was going to take my reader to the moon, and I was going to need to make it believable. I wasn’t writing science fiction, so I couldn’t just wing it. Everything I was going to have happen was going to be something that actually could have happened. So I immersed myself in the accounts of the astronauts who actually went to the moon. I read up on the technical aspects of the Apollo program. I challenged myself with the thought that, if my novel is ever read by someone who’s actually been there, he won’t be constantly rolling his eyes!
Q — Are there plans for other books?
A — Yes. My novel Defiant Heart is complete, but still going though the editing process. It’s a coming of age story set on the eve of World War II. I’m also kicking around ideas for another thriller.