Bruce Roland on writing his IR Approved BLINDING FEAR: Family + friends…provided valuable suggestions… I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Blinding Fear received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Bruce Roland.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

My book is titled Blinding Fear. I originally published it only as an e-book in August of 2016 exclusively on Amazon. It was modestly successful. This Spring I completed some enhancements to the book and added a paperback version.

What’s the book’s first line? 

The book’s first line is “It was an unusual asteroid.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Although the book has a few of the elements that define a typical science fiction novel, it is actually far more than that. “Blinding Fear” is best defined as a psychological thriller that delves deeply into the the human psyche, exploring how individuals and groups of people respond when faced with potentially life-threatening events. Although there are many smaller crises that the various characters must confront, the primary focal point is a seemingly inevitable, world-encompassing apocalypse. The book’s main characters must decide whether to reveal what they know about what they think is coming or flee to some distant, hopefully-safe haven; whether to share the devastating news with as many people as possible as soon as possible or allow them to live out their lives in blissful ignorance. They soon discover, however, that there are sinister individuals and forces arrayed against them whose motives and methods run totally counter to their own.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

For years my wife and daughters begged and cajoled me to write a book but I never seemed to find the time or motivation. Finally, after I retired, I decided to take an idea I’d had for many years and see if I could develop it into a compelling novel. I think I’ve succeeded.

Oddly enough, I never had writer’s block during any phase of my work. I discovered that characters, plot lines and themes just seemed to flow into fruition with little effort.

What helped the most after I completed the first draft was the feedback from the many family and friends to whom I gave the book. Most are highly educated and widely read. All of them provided valuable suggestions and corrections which I eventually integrated into the final version. I couldn’t have done it without them.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

One of the reasons someone should read “Blinding Fear” lies in my “pitch” contained in answer #3 above. In the midst of seeing the various character’s responses to the predicaments they face, readers can explore their own responses. How would they react? What would they do? Another reason is to learn about the many, fascinating, accurately-depicted, sophisticated systems and technologies, and the people associated with them, that are integral to the plot. In addition, readers can discover many real-life locations and historical events. I spent many hours researching them and believe they lend credence and depth to the storyline. 

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The main character is Claire McBeth, a science and technology writer for a daily New York newspaper. In some respects I developed her as a strong, anti-heroine. Whereas most women of her background and position would willingly follow the latest dictates of New York City culture and fashion, Claire has judiciously chosen a different path. She is her own woman, not easily swayed by the erratic currents of conventional wisdom or political-correctness. This, in spite of her multi-racial parentage, where often times women like Claire are “expected” to follow a very narrowly defined path through life.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

If the book was turned into movie (many people have told me it should be) perhaps Thandie Newton or Kerry Washington would do well in the role of Claire McBeth. Mark Wahlberg would be a good Herc Ramond. How about Kal Penn as Ranjit Javad. Daniel Cudmore (“Colossus” in “X-Men 2”) could be Quinten Gnash. As far as an actor to play the role of Kayode Seok, I don’t know. Finding an older Korean-American actor is very difficult.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

This is the first book I’ve written although I have written two stage plays, one of which was produced as a musical.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I spent nearly a year writing the first draft of “Blinding Fear” and about nine months with the enhanced version. I’m not writing now as I consider the best path forward. Many people are clamoring for a sequel and I’ve begun thinking through the framework of that book.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

I have tried one facet of the traditional publishing route. I sent out two dozen agent queries and got the expected “Thanks, but no thanks” from all. If a traditional publisher came calling I might entertain their offerings as long as they didn’t demand major changes.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The author I admire the most is James Michener. I’ve read many of his historical novels—“Texas,” “Poland,” “Alaska,” etc. I’ve also enjoyed Tom Clancy’s work. Two reviewers of “Blinding Fear’ favorably compared my writing to his.





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