Buck Cheyne, self-made billionaire entrepreneur, learns that one of his companies is being investigated by the Feds. Under government contract and working out of the top secret Los Alamos facility, others want in on their discovery. It turns out the previously unknown 119th chemical element has powerful curative properties. Some deadly ones, also. Plagued by horrible nightmares and personally implicated, he stands to lose his wealth and freedom. Because life is spiraling out of control, he retreats to Santa Fe in an attempt to regain perspective. There, he is mysteriously transferred to some other place not of this world and given a message. Buck knows this experience is more than a mental aberration. He becomes convinced Elizabeth Harrington, the manager of the hotel he’s staying in, holds a key to deciphering what it means. She can help find out who is behind destroying him and his company before it’s too late.
Will Buck be able to undercover the mysteries behind the impending downfall of his enterprise before it is too late? Today Ben Coleman has joined me to spend a little time exploring the world of Buck Cheyne, and what lies under the surface in ‘Thin Places: Santa Fe’. Ben, thanks you for letting me pick your brain. The first picking that I’d like to explore is how the idea behind this story developed. Can you lead us into this story?
I was researching my wife’s Celtic roots and came across the “thin places” concept. It fascinated me and the idea came about writing the series.
For those in the audience who are unfamiliar, the term ‘thin places’ refers to the places on earth where the Celts in particular where the distance between Earth and Heaven is closer than normal. After you had begun exploring the idea of ‘thin places’ did you find your fingers and mind wandering to uncover more research for this book?
Yes, loads and loads
Did you also have the opportunity to layer in traces of your own life into the tale?
Absolutely. Mine and other persons, too.
With these glimpses of experiences from both your own background and that of others, how did you find that the characters formed?
I knew the type of people I wanted to create. So I formed people with the traits and personalities that fit the story.
Do you see these traits and personalities clearly enough in such a way that they have formed clear characters in your head? Can you see them clearly enough that you could cast the characters if the moved your story to the screen?
I don’t tell that. Wouldn’t want to spoil my readers’ imaginations with who they see when they get to know Buck and Liz, as well as the others. But I do have pictures that I refer to when writing.
Fair enough, I’m not one to want to disrupt the mystery of the characters. Do you like your characters enough to take the opportunity to party with them if they could come to life?
That would be a dream come true. I have fallen in love with my characters (except the antagonists). They have become close friends. Sitting around a table over a leisurely dinner and great wine with my “Thin Places” cast would be THRILLING!
Apart from the thrills of working with your awesome characters, what did you find was the most important aspect of this book that you hope readers take away?
I wanted to provide a little hope while entertaining my readers and allowing them to escape the hubub for awhile.
Was providing this releases the most satisfying aspect of writing this novel, or did something else impress upon you further?
Actually it was accomplishing a long-time goal of writing and publishing a novel.
Achieving that goal must have felt wonderful. And I’m guessing you enjoyed the feeling enough to continue writing. What are you working on now?
The 4th book in my series, “Thin Places: Dallas.”
Good luck with the progress in your next installment. What keeps you coming back to write new instalments?
I feel so alive when I’m creating a story.
And how does the creation process unfold for you? Are you a very goal-oriented writer, or do you allow the writing process to flow more unaided?
I prefer writing in my office with a goal of 1,000+ words every day.
And do you know where you’re going to end up before you start?
I do detailed plotting of the book. But once I completely changed the ending well into the writing because the one I’d previously conjured was not as good as one that came as I wrote.
Do you find it is easy to keep yourself on target? How do you get past writers block?
I don’t have writers block. That’s probably because I plot my stories before starting to write.
That’s fantastic advice and it seems to have managed to keep the writer’s block at bay, which is always a win. I hope that your editing also unfolds as seamlessly. How does editing progress for you?
I do an initial read aloud edit after completing my initial manuscript. Then I use a fiction software program to identify more issues, making additional edits. Following that, I send it to my editors and make a final edit based upon their critique and ideas.
Have you formed any strong advice from your own experiences as a self-published author that you feel are the best tips you can impart to anyone, wishing to embark on their own writing adventure?
Write some every day. The best time to start writing your next book is when you’ve just finished the current one.
Never letting up on that stream of work is very sage advice. Now, Ben I’d like to take a little deviation from our current interview path and move towards our quick fire round where you can show a little more of the underlying colours in your personality. We’ll start with the question one, which today is: are you introvert or extrovert?
Introvert, but most people would never believe it!
Have you ever danced in the rain?
Glad to hear it! What is your favourite song or music to work by?
None. Quiet preferred.
Genius quite often works best in solitude. What is your favourite ocean?
Does you day influence your writing?
I am a retired sales & marketing executive of an international company. It had a huge influence in that I traveled the world meeting people from a vast variety of cultures and backgrounds. Locales and people provide terrific inspiration for my stories.
What is your favourite flavor of ice-cream?
I could go for some peppermint ice-cream. And finally, what is your favourite quote?
“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” –Mame Dennis from the musical Mame
Who doesn’t love Mame? She’s always right on the money and awesome to boot. Ben, thank you for sharing some insights into ‘Thin Places: Santa Fe’ and I how that you are able to find more ‘thin places’ within your writing career.
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