No Easy Answers

Greg Fields
Greg Fields Author Interview

Through the Waters and the Wild follows a discontented man who finds renewed purpose through his grandfathers letters. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Conor Finnegan was introduced in my first novel, Arc of the Comet, which followed his evolution from a confident young man with great promise through personal and professional frustrations that left him timid and unsure. By the novel’s close, Conor had just begun to recognize the failings of character that led to a deep-seated depression. He had also realized that the questions of purpose, time and place that we all must ultimately address had no easy answers. I felt his story needed to go forward as he wrestled with these realizations.

At the same time, I recalled stories of my own grandfather’s separation from his native land for reasons that, in the end, were not terribly different from Conor’s own angst. I saw a parallel between the two, and thought it might be appropriate to tie them together around themes of exile and redemption, themes that are universal enough to span the generations.

Conor and Liam are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

From the beginning, Conor Finnegan embodied noble characteristics – intelligence, passion, a well defined social conscience, and a readiness to engage with those around him. But at the same time he also possessed the serious flaws of hubris and inflexibility which compromised the application of his strengths. As such, I believe he represents the challenges we all face as individuals, regardless of our strengths and weaknesses. All of us must find a balance that allows us to develop our own passions, and our own purposes, while answering the timeless questions, Where shall I go now? What shall I do?

Liam Finnegan is a simpler character, and so an effective contrast, especially as his story unfolds through the swirl of the Irish Civil War. He responds instinctively and intuitively, discontent with the circumstances of what he sees as a pointless existence, but listening to his inner voices which constitute a highly refined sense of integrity. In so doing, he establishes a strength of character that Conor draws upon in his own struggle to identify his purpose and place.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

As noted, the book revolves around the themes of exile and redemption, framed through the central questions – Where shall I go now? What shall I do? Each of us, whether we acknowledge it or not, must ask ourselves these questions, the answers to which define purpose, identity and self.

Because we’re constantly in motion, constantly evolving, any resolution is temporary. In my mind, what matters is not the answers to these questions, but the asking of them. When we fail to ask them of ourselves, we stagnate, fester and ultimate lose a bit of our soul. We ask these questions to stay alive.

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

I believe Conor Finnegan’s story reached closure at the end of Through the Waters and the Wild. I’m currently developing a completely new character to continue the investigation and reflection of place and purpose. This new character will be more negative than positive, more failure than success, bitter and alienated. I’m hoping this provides a new perspective on these questions, one that may in fact underscore the need to ask them regardless of where we stand as we pose them. I’m hopeful that this work will be done within the next year.

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Haunted by lost loves and limping through a lifeless career, Conor Finnegan’s discontent mirrors the restlessness of his grandfather Liam, caught as a young man in the crossfire of the Irish Civil War. Drawing from Liam’s wisdom and courage, Conor seeks to reinvent his character and reclaim passions made numb by neglect and loss.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 1, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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