A Collection Of Bizarre Vignettes

Scott Petty
Scott Petty Author Interview

The Fourth Wall follows an Army Captain to Afghanistan where he encounters supernatural elements that were responsible for a mass killing. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write something totally different from any other war novel. The memorable moments from my time in Afghanistan were the kinds of things you never read about or see in movies about war. I had strange encounters that inspired me to write of the fog of war itself, almost as an autonomous form. The Fourth Wall began as a novella, a collection of bizarre vignettes, but I decided to make it bigger and wilder. I wanted it to be an accurate description of modern warfare, but it also had to be adventurous and entertaining, fun for a reader but also fun to write. The supernatural elements grew out of that approach, but the main star of The Fourth Wall has always been the fog of war. I just gave it a different face.

Captain Thomas Jett is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Jett is an explorer. He volunteers for a combat tour in Afghanistan. He is familiar with the occult, and his home is haunted by ghosts. By volunteering to go to war, he is seeking an escape but also personal transformation and exposure to dangers he has never known but wants to experience. Something is out there waiting for him, he just doesn’t know what it might be. This openness to change, for good and bad, is what drives Jett. It is the cycle of external and internal conflict that sustains him and pushes him.

He wants to be a good soldier, though, to do the right thing. He wants to find himself and find a place in this war. When presented with so many dark mysteries, he sees this as a chance to do both.

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

The Fourth Wall describes the chaos of modern warfare in myriad ways, from top levels of command to troops out on patrol. Exploring warfare in this way, I was able to step out of my own boots and learn about the experiences of others and their job specialties. As I am still in the Army, this book has been a vessel to continue learning about military culture, doctrine, procedures, and technology, as well as to keep growing in my profession of arms.

Another theme I explore is Jett’s individual transformation within military society. He is only a captain, in his fifth year in the Army, but because of his assignments he is exposed to a variety of dramatic situations. In addition to The Fourth Wall’s outlandish qualities, other very real (and mundane) elements of military life have their moment. There are many layers to military society, and I wanted to present these diverse elements in new ways and go beyond the usual tropes of war literature.

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

I’ve been working on the sequel to The Fourth Wall, in which Jett goes on more adventures and further explores mysteries presented in the first book. I hope to have the sequel available in two years. I’ve planned a five or six book Fourth Wall series, though only the first two or three books will take place in Afghanistan.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Captain Thomas Jett, a U.S. Army Reservist, volunteers for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, in part to get away from ghosts at home. Things that go bump in the night. In war, he encounters monsters.

Jett is tasked to investigate a mass murder in Kandahar, which people say was not the work of the Taliban. Instead, it was a creature of smoke and fire, perhaps a jinni. As the chaos builds, revealing otherworldly evil, Jett must devise a new approach. He creates an imaginative system for an unconventional, dreamlike kind of conflict, calling his system “The Fourth Wall.”

Author Scott Petty is a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. Through a phantasmagoric show, Petty reinvents the war novel, interweaving reality with magical and paranormal elements. The Fourth Wall offers a panoramic view of modern warfare…one surreal piece at a time.

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 January 22, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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