Modern Civil War

Ian Page Author Interview

Ian Page Author Interview

Sanctuary is a fast paces post apocalyptic thriller where war envelopes the world and cities fall apart as anarchy reins and people start killing each other in the streets. What was your inspiration for the initial carnage and war that takes over the world and how does that push the development of the two main characters?

The inspiration was to write something that seemed plausible. The aim was to create a world where the reader would look at the news and wonder if what they were reading was fiction. So instead of having an easily detected outbreak of monsters or aliens, I wanted the process to be very insidious and start from the time that our characters figure out that something is going on. That’s also why there isn’t an omnipotent viewpoint and told from the character’s perspective. The goal was to have the reader right next to the characters and have the reader empathize with their decisions. The model I used was, unfortunately, modern civil war. Enemies are identified and rounded up. People cohere to the social structure that is still intact, put themselves in danger and go to work or school and cling to those they love. So I tried to make my characters realistic and let you see who they really are.

What I like about Sanctuary, and what sets it apart from other novels of it’s type, is that the main characters are minority women. Why did you feel that these characters were a better vehicle to move the story along in a post apocalyptic world?

To tell you the truth, that was probably subconscious. The original idea was just around JJ. I think I was frustrated seeing superficial formulaic women in the action genres. So I glued a few of my friends together and came up with her. Many of her lines are direct quotes. So imaging them in the story allowed me stay within character. Deeta was a logical choice because of the dietary issue, I actually didn’t come up with her until I started writing the opening sequence. I just decided to make her Kashmiri Hindu with a Muslim name. By doing this, she and her family had been marginalized even in their own country. As the story developed, I used her situation as I thought it would play out. When the characters took me into the story, I discovered they were just a little more cautious, more observant, suspicious than an average hero and that gave everything a lot more depth. Sadly, it also allowed me to realistically illustrate how our societies divide themselves along racial and predetermined prejudice under times of stress. That was not intentional when I started it, but if I wanted it to be believable, it had to go in.

There are a lot of modern issues weaved throughout the story, like; terrorism, internment camps, war in the middle east and Korea. What were some thing in the headlines today that made you think it would be a good fit for your story?

There is no shortage of headlines that could make it into the book. I could go to any of the news outlets and write five chapters. The Orlando shooting is probably the easiest, the the coup in Turkey, the stories coming out of the ISIS held territories, all of them could find a way in. But when I wrote this, I really tried to stay away from actual accounts. So instead of referencing a particular shooting or war crime, I wrote a scenario in a real setting where tensions are high. Then someone or a group of people would act out on those “what I’d really like to do” impulses. Then there would be the retaliation. Then I added random acts that would happen unpredictably without explanation. The scary part was that I really wasn’t that inaccurate.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will that be out?

I was asked to write a novella for a possible series about an assassin. This one was tough but turned out to be a lot of fun. This character is more imagination than anything else, but she was a ball to conjure up. After reading Sanctuary, a publisher asked me to write the story and for a minority woman to be the lead. And, as these things go, the people that asked for it may be getting out of the publishing business. So I’m shopping it around. The title is Siibay.

Book Description:

Deeta Nakshband, a Connecticut physician is attacked by a local surgeon while on duty in the hospital. Her friend, Janelle Jefferson, has similar experiences in Miami. Both of them become aware of an increasingly violent world as acts of isolated brutality escalate into civil unrest. They grapple with their paranoia as family members and coworkers become dangerously unpredictable. Worldwide, military units go rogue, war begins in Korea and cities implode as people slaughter each other in the streets. Martial law is declared in an attempt to maintain order. People are arrested, detainment camps are set up and interrogations end with tragic consequences as modern civilization crumbles. Deeta and Janelle band together with family friends and coworkers to save each other and find sanctuary.

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non fiction works that we're excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We're always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean?

Posted on November 17, 2016, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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