Monday, July 11, 2011

The Story Behind the Story -- Aftershock

This is the sequel to The Patriot, which was part of the Rebels & Rogues 12-month mini-series from Temptation. Aftershock was part of Passion's Quest. This series was only 4 books, one for each of the four elements. The tagline for the series was "Earth, Wind, Fire and Water...the four elements -- but nothing is more elemental than passion."

Earth is the element I chose to write about in Aftershock, basically because the other three were already taken. Here's the blurb:

Rockie Wexler's father has created a device that predicts earthquakes. Unfortunately it can also cause them, and now both Dr. Wexler and the TAQ box have disappeared. Gutsy and brilliant Rockie knows she needs help to rescue her father from the bad guys. Help arrives in the form of Leslie Sheridan. The hard-edged, self-described pain in the butt turns her world upside down. And Sheridan has his own reasons for hating anyone with the name of Wexler.

The TAQ box, short for Tremor and Quake Warning Device, is a figment of my imagination. A couple nights ago I heard a snatch of a radio program about Nikola Tesla, the great 19th-century inventor. He was tinkering with a machine something like the TAQ box. According to the snippet I heard, when the cops and the fire department showed up outside his lab one night after he'd tested the device, he took a hammer to the machine and smashed it to bits.

I hadn't heard that story when I wrote the Prologue for Aftershock, so that was kind of freaky. So was the research I did on earthquakes. I started noticing rock formations and land features as I was out driving around and ended up scaring myself when I realized how many earthquakes had likely occurred around here over the eons.

Aftershock was one of the easiest books I've ever written. It pretty much wrote itself, and that worried me. Easy and effortless isn't a guarantee of good. I kept wondering if I'd screwed up someplace. I fretted that the book was awful, that readers would hate it, but when Aftershock came out I got a ton of letters from readers saying how much they'd loved it. Whew!

My artist friend Judy Johnson designed the cover for the ebook of Aftershock. I love Judy's cover because it depicts an actual scene from the book, one of Rockie's escapes from the bad guys. The primary bad guy is Conan from The Patriot. I had the best time bringing Conan back, and Maxwell, too.

Aftershock has one of the best last lines I think I've ever written in a book: "I love you, Bullwinkle." My other best last line is in Remembrance.

Aftershock is available for Kindle and Nook. And I'm glad to tell Nook readers that The Patriot is finally available in the Nook Store. Yay!

See this link for more on Nikola Tesla. A truly remarkable man.

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