Sunday, August 19

Review: The Rule of Four

The Rule Of FourThe Rule Of Four by Ian Caldwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just before reading this book, I read The Lost Symbol. Before I reached the end, I'd researched the ending. While I sometimes do that with a movie that I don't really care about, this was the first time I'd done it with a book.

As I listened to The Rule of Four, I have several books on Audio that I listen to while driving, I was confused by the plot. While I knew that the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was central to the story, the jumping back and forth in time was odd at times and I couldn't grasp what I needed to care about this old book.

Than I reached the end, I smiled not only at the actual ending, but in understanding.

The confusion I felt was due to everything being shown from Tom's point of view, who spends almost all of the story being confused by his past and future colliding. So much of his life was filled with a love/hate relationship with the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, that became melded with the death of his father AND a sense of both wanting to finish what his father had started, but not BE his father.

As an adult who's lost a parent before 30 [older than Tom was, but in many ways still in a developmental stage], I understood the sense of being torn between who they wanted you to be and who you are...

I was saddened when I finished and came over to write the review and saw so many negative reviews. This isn't in the same caliber as a classic, but in my eyes... Dan Brown could learn a thing or two on research from this book.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 8

IWU Interview with Lorne Oliver

This is my first ever blog interview.  I am so happy to be here.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Red Island takes a look at both sides of the hunt for a serial killer.  The main character is Sgt. Reid who won’t let anyone know his name, is confused about the state of his marriage, and is haunted by something he did in his past.  He wakes from a dream at the same time as being called to the scene of the first homicide in Prince Edward Island in the past twenty years or so.  Reid and other members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police begin an investigation that churns up more victims with no clues. 
On the other side of the coin Ben Cooper has grown up on the island destined to be a killer.  You get to see from when he was 8 years old being picked on and forming his own world in his mind to when he starts peeping, raping, and now killing.
What about this story made you have to write it?
I liked the idea of showing how someone could become a serial killer and what is in his mind without having him be the hero.  Police officers have a hard job, especially since many people can see it from their view with all the red tape they have to go through.  I don’t think the bad guy should be the hero, but a lot of times they are seen that way.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned during the creation of this book?
I had the opportunity to interview members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police so I learned a lot of what real police do compared to the TV and movie cops. 

What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest parts were the fine details.  The locations are real.  There is actually a Blooming Point beach with a wooded area and a rough bush trail cutting through it where the first victim is found. This is an old abandoned house where another victim is found.  Keeping everything as real as possible within the world of fiction took a lot of notes.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Honestly I am constantly writing.  No matter what I am doing my head is always working on what comes next until I am ready to explode and I have to sit and write.  But when my mind actually rests I like watching movies, though my mind is looking for new ideas, cooking, and playing with my two wonderful kids.  They are getting to the age where they don’t need Dad around any more so I take the time I can get.
Can you share a little of what you are working on now?
Right now I am working on the second book in the Sgt. Reid series.  The tentative title for this one is, Forever Screaming.  It is going to be a little darker.  The crime is a little more heinous than the brutal killing of young women like in Red Island.  It is a subject that is actually hard to write personally, but it’ll be well worth it once it is done.
What advice would you give a new writer?
For anyone who is thinking of publishing online for the first time to do their work long before they actually publish.  I couldn’t wait and just wanted to get it out there.  Now, 2 months later, I have realized how much work should have been done before hand:  building a following on Twitter, guest blogs to get the name out, finding reviewers ahead of time so that there are reviews right away.  Do the work, do the research, then publish.