When and why did you begin writing?
Having chosen to write historical fiction, a big question was how to transition from writing objective science papers to writing prose in a genre of literature: how to build suspense, make characters come alive and develop a story. A suitable writing style requires considerable reading, advice in novel writing and practice, practice, practice, some of which included fan-fiction writing on the internet.
How long have you been writing?
I began writing articles in my youth as an amateur astronomer contributing articles to magazines such as Sky & Telescope. Later, I publishing Science Journal articles describing the findings of NASA spacecraft at Mars. Finally, my historical novel writing began while our spacecraft cruised to the planets, and after considerable travel around the world.
What inspires you to write and why?
The era was fascinating. Nations struggled with self-government, having emerged from colonialism or repressive monarchies. Word of the French and American revolutions spread worldwide, which threatened the economic engines of most soverign states: the practice of slavery. Tensions flared between traditional royalists and young radicals who promoted democratic ideas to free themselves from repressive social classes. As a result, conspiracies abounded and murders were common.
Into the mix, we find the Darmons, who solve mysteries occurring worldwide between 1820-1845. William and Elizabeth, her sister Emily and brother-in-law Charles and youngest sister, Victoria. They’re world traveling aristocrats whose money provides access, but encounters with other cultures make them truly “fish out of water.” The six novels are set in England, America, Egypt, Canada, Brazil, Russia and India.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Historical fiction, it makes the past come alive by putting the reader into the time and sharing the challenges of the day.
What inspired you to write your first book?
When I managed Mars Missions for NASA, I was often asked, “do you believe in the face on Mars?” A fellow by the name of Hoglan made lots of money speculating on the possibility that the face was constructed by aliens. Such imaginings are not all crazy and have spurred the investigation of canals on the planet for hundreds of years. People strive to understand their environment and nothing excites the mind like solving a good mystery. Mankind seeks enlightenment, answers to the unknown, it is in his nature. No matter if you’re a scientist trying to understand the universe, a police detective solving a life or death case or just someone looking for missing car keys, we learn from the process and recover from our mistakes. So my answer to “do I believe there’s face on Mars” is, no, better camera resolution shows it to be a mesa covered with rocks, but then again, what about those microbe fossils in the Allen Hill meteorite and those traces of methane in the atmosphere?
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Not much has been written about this time period 1820 to 1850. I learned a lot about the era. Nations struggled with self-government, having emerged from colonialism or repressive monarchies. Word of the French and American revolutions spread worldwide, which threatened the economic engines of most soverign states: the practice of slavery. Tensions flared between traditional royalists and young radicals who promoted democratic ideas to free themselves from repressive social classes. As a result, conspiracies abounded and murders were common.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Message of the Pendant (see excerpts).
Can you tell us about your main character?
William and Elizabeth Darmon, English aristocrats caught up in other countries’ cultures like fish out of water.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
Wanted to see characters of Jane Austen’s era in adventure, mystery situations.
Who designed the cover?
Publisher with author input.
Who is your publisher?
Black Rose Writing, San Antonio, Texas
William Darmon and wife Elizabeth were powerful figures who in 1818 set society's pace from expansive grounds known as Mayfair Hall. When a family member is murdered, a mysterious pendant is found containing a long lost request by Napoleon Bonaparte for an American mission to burn down Parliament buildings. The couple sets out on an action filled pursuit of the killer. While interviewing Henry Clay in post-war Maryland about the failed mission, they uncover evidence of a conspiracy to free the Emperor from exile. The Darmons infiltrate the cadre, but a shipwreck off the coast of Scotland, a firestorm at the Darmon's Manor and a harrowing assault on the Island of St. Helena loom before the mystery can be unraveled.
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Genre – Mystery, Historical, Thriller
Rating – PG
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