Main Character: Zak Palmer, A widower veteran turned private investigator.
MC’s Goal: To solve the mystery of his friend’s murder.
Obstacles: A secret society of puppet masters, and their very capable hitman, Mr. Vanity.
Setting: Modern day Georgia and California.
Points of Interest: Georgia Guidestones, Bohemian Grove
Author Website: http://www.cyrusalderwood.com/blog/
How much would you risk to make sure your best friend gets justice? For Zak Palmer, he would risk it all. When Zak’s friend Baxter, an FBI agent, is murdered investigating a case involving the Georgia Guidestones, it makes him do something he fought against doing since his wife’s untimely death, care enough about something to get involved.
Cyrus takes the reader on a journey to the darker side of society, and shows the lengths the elites will go to hide their own sins from the world. As Zak sends small ripples into the puppet master society turning over stones and finding more victims, he prompts a wave of retribution to come back at him. The hidden powers-that-be send their most accomplished hitman, Mr. Vanity, to deal with Zak and anyone in his life.
Every person he trusts becomes a potential betrayer. Every move he makes brings new dangers. Every fact discovered uncovers more intrigue. Just wanting to do one last thing for his friend Baxter, Zak picks a fight with the whole world.
I could not put this book down. I know it’s a cliché but it is both well written, and intriguing story that links perfectly with modern conspiracy theories. Cyrus adds a little political intrigue without alienating either side of the fence you fall. His book raises unanswered questions concerning the Georgia Guidestones. Who placed the, there and how do they tie in to other conspiracy theories of a deep state? I thoroughly suggest you invest a few hours in this compelling story.
QUESTIONS WITH THE AUTHOR:
What inspired you to write this story?
A general curiosity of conspiracy theories led me to discover the story of the Georgia Guidestones years ago. The growing acceptance of an actual “deep state,” of corrupt people in our governments and institutions that seem to always escape justice was sort of a catalyst for me. The fact that there has been a problem with human trafficking for years, documented cases, and the fact that Jeffrey Epstein and his pedophile island was known by authorities for years and he only got a slap on the wrist was a news story that I thought deserved some attention as a powerful back story is a suspense novel, a political thriller of sorts. I knew I had to find a way to tie that story (although fictionalized) with the Georgia Guidestones. It felt more like a calling instead of a typical writing project.
Who was your target audience while writing it?
At first I thought that the audience for this book would be the typical fan of political thrillers, maybe catching a few of those folks that are really into conspiracy theories as an interest. I suppose that is still the largest part of the audience for this book, however, with the underlying theme of Zak’s search for faith and purpose in the middle of the chaos that turned his life upside down, I can see how an audience for Christian fiction could be strongly drawn to this book, especially with the verse of Ephesians 6:12 sort of guiding my way through this book.
Did you develop any unique relationship to your characters while writing the book?
I think I had a soft spot for Zak because I’ve been down that same road of hitting a wall in life and floundering around emotionally and spiritually. A place where you feel you are surrounded by darkness and filled with an empty pain but all you want is to find that bright spot in life to give you purpose.
What is your favorite part of the story and why?
I think that the ending still means the most to me. It wraps up that eternal battle of good and evil, and our role in that ongoing struggle as individuals. I feel that the end is especially powerful and something that leaves the reader something to reflect on long after they put the book down.
If you ever wrote a spinoff, what would you take from this book?
I’d definitely have to revive the character of Zak Palmer. He’s a character that went from a broken spirited man, to realizing how strong and blessed he is. Over the course of the book he became a menace to those that run free in the “deep state.” Building on his character in a series could be fun.
What is the one thing that you want your readers to take away?
In the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, those stories gave people a reason to question their faith. Maybe that wasn’t the case for everyone that read the books or watched the movies, but they had that effect. I want people to read Revelation Calling and have and enjoy an exciting story and experience a character that heals over time. A story that gives people a reason to strengthen their faith in the proverbial storm, not question it.
Out of all your books, what book should readers start with first?
Tough question! I write across multiple genres, and Revelation Calling was my first attempt at a political thriller. I’ve written comedy and I’ve written horror. I’d rather ask a reader that has read all of my books, but if someone wanted to get a sense of the range of sense of imagination I’d suggest Bedtime Stories For the Terminally Afraid. It’s a collection of short stories, but the reader will find that some are terribly dark and some have a wild sense of irony and humor. In any case, I’d dare the reader to try to guess the endings before they get there. Good luck with that!
Can you describe the writing process for Revelation Calling?
This book wasn’t terribly difficult to write, even though it was a two year process. Once I sat down with my loose outline of it, this book poured out of me like it was meant to be. I know that sounds weird. It sounds weird to say! That’s why I say that I feel like this was a book I was meant to write. With all of the turmoil in our nation over the past few years, and with people waking up to the corruption around them, this book is powerful. Some elements of what I wrote in this book actually came to international exposure a few months after it came out. Prophetic? Maybe. I don’t know, but I think people that read this will get a sense of what I’m talking about.
How many drafts until you felt it was ready for the world?
It didn’t take too many revisions to get to where I wanted it to be, actually. Rewrites are the hardest part of the writing process, the part that really isn’t any fun. But it’s vital! I went through three drafts before I was comfortable. I may eventually pull it off the shelf and add something to it, or do another revision to tighten it up. We all grow as writers, and as I grow I try to look as some of my older work and see if changes are needed.
What kind of research did you do for your story?
I read pretty extensively about Bohemian Grove and about the history of the Georgia Guidestones. I devoured countless hours of YouTube videos on the subject, trying my best to separate fact from fiction. That is easier said than done when your do a deep dive into a topic of conspiracy theory lore. After a lot of the easy research online I made a trip to Elberton, Georgia to see the Guidestones for myself. I stayed in town and made it known why I was there to the folks I met. I got a real sense of how the locals still react to having this monument in their backyard after all these years. I wanted to get a sense of the layout of the location, and try to get a sense of the town and the people there (as best as I could in such a short period of time).
Who or what inspired you to put words on paper in the beginning?
I caught the writing bug all the way back in the year 2000. I think it was just my sense of creativity that spurred me on, my wild imagination. I moved to Cincinnati in June of that year and a friend of mine gave me a tour of old Spring Grove Cemetery. The place was immaculate. It was breathtakingly beautiful and macabre at the same time. That day, while driving through there, I got the idea for my very first book. I only intended on writing one book, but the story I started developing that day turned into a four part series. Once you are a writer there is no stopping, and here I am still writing twenty years later.
In your opinion, how should new writers measure their growth?
You could ask this question to a dozen writers and get a dozen different answers. But there are some things that are clear signs of growth. One is the ability to grow thick skin. As a writer you want others to read your work and give you feedback. We all do, but when you’re ready to get honest feedback and handle that criticism without feeling a dagger in your heart, you’ve grown as a writer.
The goal at the end of the day is to tell a story well, tell a story that the reader will love enough to have a conversation about with someone else who loves to read. I don’t think it’s fair to measure your work against the greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, or modern best sellers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. Write a set of standards and goals that you want to live up to as a writer, read as much as you can in your genre, and take that ride. Enjoy the life of a writer. It isn’t easy. It’s filled with criticism and praise. Balance that and see where your growth takes you. Live up to your standards. Don’t strive to be the next Stephen King. Strive to be the first YOU.