Friday, October 5, 2012

A.J. Scudiere guest post

Today we welcome A.J. Scudiere to Now is Gone, in conjunction with JKS Communications and the blog tour for A.J.'s new book, Phoenix (review here, awesome giveaway here, blurb and author bio here). I asked A.J. for a guest post to add to the festivities, and she was gracious enough to agree, so without further ado, heeeeeeeeeere's A.J.!

Into Reality

My first book dealt with some serious SciFi—the magnetic polar reversal and the effect it could have on us all. In my second book I got revenge on some mafia hitmen. In my third book, I introduced an angel and a demon. In all these cases, I did research. I have two science degrees, I learned to shoot two-handed and I broke into my own home repeatedly. And, though I studied mythology and various religious beliefs about the origins of angels and demons, I had a lot of leeway.

For my fourth book, “Phoenix,” I had a very real scenario to deal with. I did do two things that likely won’t happen to most of us: I gave my main character, Jason, a twisted and buried past and I based his story loosely on the classic tale of Jason and the Argonauts. But that was it, everything else I wanted to be grounded in reality.

I had to weave together several characters’ pasts to create a predicament in the present for Jason. I wanted to show how the decisions we make come back to us, sometimes in unexpected ways. How those same decisions affect those around us. And how others’ choices, sometimes long dead and buried, can come back and affect our lives today.

Writing a more reality-based story meant more research, and not the book kind. I talked to firefighters at all different levels of the game. I wanted to know what their lives are like, so that Jason’s story would fit into the life of a firefighter.

I learned a lot researching this book. The firefighting life is an unusual one—this is probably why it has sparked countless movies (“Backdraft” “Ladder 49”) and TV shows (“Rescue Me” and the upcoming “Chicago Fire.”) The job is at times boring, interesting and oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die crazy. Because of that the twists and turns of the story play well into the reality of Jason’s world.

It was great to write an edge-of-your-seat thriller that was logically plausible. There are no wild happenings, nothing comes out of the blue. The story opens with a fire and ends with a . . .

Well, I’m not going to tell you. I will say this: I don’t think you’ll see it coming.

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