Today, I am pleased to welcome Tom Abrahams, author of SEDITION, to my blog.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME?
I was born in a log cabin in rural Kentucky. My mother died when I was young. And while I didn’t go to college, I did pass the bar after teaching myself the law with the help of textbooks. Wait…that’s not me.
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but was raised in North Carolina. I went to college in Florida and spent a decade there after finding jobs in the northern and central parts of the state. Home is now Houston, Texas. My wife and I have lived here for more than 13 years and are raising our kids here. We do not live in log cabin. Neither of us are lawyers.
WHEN DID YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?
When I sell one more book…
HOW DO YOU CONCEIVE YOUR PLOT IDEAS?
While I don’t rip the ideas straight from the headlines, I do base the stories on the current political climate. SEDITION is based on an 1820 British conspiracy to overthrow the government. But it resonates as a modern day commentary on our politics because of the divided house on Capitol Hill. My next novel plays off dissatisfaction some states seem to have with the federal government and our dependence on hydrocarbons. I take that “reality” and then try to manufacture a fictional tale within that world.
DO YOU OUTLINE YOUR BOOKS OR JUST START WRITING?
A little bit of both. I have an idea and start writing out the first few pages. Then I work on developing the main characters and how they’ll fit into the original idea. I create a very rough outline that hits the beginning middle and planned end of the story. It, of course, changes as I write. Characters change as do some of the plot points. And I find that the book I intended is only about 60% of what I end up writing.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING/SCENE TO WRITE IN THIS STORY?
There is a scene late in the book in which one of the primary character commits suicide. It was surprisingly difficult to write because I think, in part, I’d become attached to that character. I felt the emptiness and sadness as I wrote the incredibly detailed pages that reveal how and why the characters decides suicide is the only option. I didn’t anticipate being as emotionally drained as I was. And when I go back to read that part of the book again, it still bothers me.
DID THE STORY TURN OUT THE WAY YOU PLANNED FROM THE BEGINNING? IF NOT WHAT CHANGE HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?
There were two major plot twists in the book that were not originally planned. One of them occurs about midway through the story. And I didn’t expect to take the plot that direction, but as I wrote, I found the characters “leading” me that way. It was very cool and one of my favorite parts of the narrative. The second twist was a total rewrite to the end of the book. I’d resolved the story one way, when my wife suggested an alternative. I loved the idea and rewrote the last thirty pages of the book. I can’t take credit for that twist, but I know it was the right move. Readers have repeatedly told me they didn’t see it coming and that it made the book.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
I’m reading THE FIFTH ASSASSIN by Brad Meltzer. In the book he switches from 3rd to 1st person POV. Given that my first novel was 3rd person and my next one is 1st person, I’m reading it to learn from his gift. He writes with a great deal of ease. I’m envious.
HAVE YOU STARTED YOUR NEXT PROJECT? IF SO CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEXT BOOK?
My next project is about 70% complete (that is the first draft is 70% complete). It’s tentatively called ALLEGIANCE and takes place in Texas. It follows a political operative as he finds himself unwittingly caught in a political conspiracy involving secession, oil, and nanotechnology. While a blend of political and science fiction, I’ve had help from some great people in crafting a very believable plot. Nanoscientists are awesome in sharing what they know and making it understandable to an aspiring writer like me. I hope to have ALLEGIANCE available at the end of 2013.
As the nation slips into a constitutional crisis, a small group of disenfranchised neo-patriots conspire to violently seize power.
They have the will. They already have someone on the inside. And they have the explosives.
Standing in their way is a woman who listens to conversations not meant for her to hear. She reads mail not intended for her to see. She knows their intention. But can she stop them in time?
SEDITION is a smart, fast-paced, modern day political novel woven in reality and based on the 1820 British plot, The Cato Street Conspiracy.
It navigates the thin line between good versus evil and patriot versus traitor, proving there’s always a reason behind treason.
He’s interviewed Presidents, cabinet members, and leaders in congress. He’s reported live from the White House, Capitol Hill, and the United Nations.
Tom’s covered five national political conventions. He has flown with presidential candidates, gone backstage at their rallies, and broken stories about them on televion and online.