Copyright, all rights reserved 2014
Q. What does The O.D. stand for?
A. The answer is on page 335 of the book.
Q. What’s your book about?
A. It’s about the threats and perils that face everyone on the planet – over-population, climate change, water shortages and what can be done to keep them from killing us. The action takes place ten or twenty years from now, by which point the Earth will have reached its tipping point. The burning question then, as now, is how can the ills of the world be effectively treated when countries can’t agree on the simplest of things? The answer is to create a base of influence outside the rest of the world that is free of history, culture, and political and religious dogma, thus enabling it to devise a solution that’s impartial and non-partisan – a solution the rest of the world can accept for this very reason. The ‘science fiction’ element of the book revolves around how this base of influence is realised.
Q. Who are the main characters of the story?
A. Forrest Vaalon, an octogenarian American billionaire, and Lonnie Pilot, a Cornish tutor of seven-to-twelve-year-olds.
Q. An odd mix…
A. Odd, but highly effective.
Q. Who do you see as being your main audience?
A. Anybody who cares about what human beings are doing to their planet and to each other. This isn’t a niche novel for environmentalists – it’s for anyone with the sensitivity and the imagination to see that the road we’re treading is taking us in the opposite direction of where we need to go. The ideas put forward in The O.D. are not ‘pie in the sky’. They’re attainable and make perfect sense. But then, as their author, I would say that.
Q. How long did it take you to write The O.D.?
A. Twenty-seven years. I first got the idea while living in Dubrovnik in 1987. The title back then was ‘The Boy of Biscay’, because the hero, Lonnie Pilot, was only fifteen. I wasn’t writing a Young Adult story – he was fifteen for a reason, the reason being that once hormones kick in, a certain clarity of mind and imagination is muddied. As the years and the drafts passed, Lonnie Pilot grew up. He’s twenty-five when the story begins and in his late thirties when it ends.
Q. Where can people get the book?
A. It came out on June 12 and is available on Amazon as a paperback and as an eBook. I have set the price as low as Amazon will allow. This project is less about making money and more about getting the message into as many hands, and minds, as possible. With indie books, because we don’t have the marketing machinery of a big publisher behind us, we rely on ratings, reviews and word of mouth.
Q. Good luck with it.
Chris James talks to himself about his new book, The O.D.