Mandie – Thank you so much David for taking time to talk with us today. I loved your book and I was delighted at how much research from the history, to the places, to the details like the Bennsoush – the lowcal non-alcoholic beer the Iranian was drinking. How long did the research take?
David – Well, the preliminary research took a month or two tops. But I was researching and fact-checking through the entire process of writing—nearly three years it took me to finish the book. As I’d revise each part, little research issues would pop up, and I’d just systematically hunt them down.
Mandie – How long did it take to write?
David – Nearly three years. First draft took just a few months, and was about 102k words. Then I had to clean it up. I’d written the book with a narrative
more suitable for a sweeping fantasy epic—I’d never written a book before, and had no idea what I was doing. I sat back and took a good look at what
I’d done and realized I was writing more of a supernatural thriller/adventure-type story than *The Lord of the Rings*. So I had to go
back in and completely rewrite the narrative so that it read more *Da Vinci Code*, less *Return of the King*. The final product was just over 88k
Mandie – I would be a happy woman listening to Phineas' stories for hours. Who was your favorite character?
David – Probably a tie between Azrail and Aliyah. Azrail was just too fun to write because he’s basically a Satanist with all these warring anarchist
tendencies. Also, there’s the whole thing that happens to him at the end
that I can’t go into without spoiling, but that was a really fun twist to write. Aliyah is an example of what research can do to really breathe some
life into a character.
I knew the type of person I thought she’d be, but as I read more about women in Iraq, I became more impassioned about who Aliyah is. I read this great story about women in the armed forces during Saddam’s regime, and how Saddam’s government was actually more liberal for the cause of women’s rights in Iraq than it has been since his demise. I began to wonder: How does a woman who ascended to a position of power at a time when the government was more liberal, survive the transition to fewer rights for women—in a country where the threat of rape exists just because a woman is walking down the street? Her back-story began to take shape nicely, and deserves its own book, I think.
Mandie – I agree you characters are your characters are rich and have depth. We have Max who is a young cellist who enjoys video games. Then you have his scholarly God-Father, Aliyah the Iraqi, and that is just the beginning. This book has History, action, a very in depth plot but I am amazed at how fast paced this book is. I was a little worried it was going to be a ‘guy' book but I truly think there is something for everyone.
Did you have a target audience in mind when you were writing?
David – Yes. I revised this book for people who enjoy religious-themed thrillers, Da Vinci Code, Anne Rice, James Patterson, Kathryn Neville’s *The
Eight*, *Raiders of the Lost Ark,* *Damien Omen,* and the T.V. show, *Fringe*—among others. Pretty eclectic.
Mandie – What else are you working on?
David – Well, I’ve finished the story treatment and am about ten chapters in on the sequel to *Abyss*, *The Philosopher’s Game*. I’ve got two different books on E.T. that I’m dying to write. One is a thriller with a serious environmental message, the other is nonfiction and is a lighthearted, comedic effort to encourage people to feel less embarrassed talking about stuff like ancient aliens, UFO sightings or other supernatural phenomenon. I’ve got a father-son superhero story I want to write for my son, who is two. And a few more.
Mandie – Anything else you would like to share?
David –I just want to say thanks for taking a chance on a new author, and really hope you and your readers will enjoy *Abyss of Chaos*!
Mandie – Thank you David for coming and hanging out with all of us Mommies!
David is kind enough to allow a contest for one of my readers.
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