A War In A World Of Dreams

Morgan Quaid
Morgan Quaid Author Interview

Whiplash follows a young man who’s taken to a bunker where he is forced to fight an relentless enemy in a dream world rife with danger. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Honestly, the biggest driver for the story was wanting a hapless hero to be plunged into a confusing, unjustified, and brutal experience. The whole idea began with “a knock at my front door at 3am” and from there it was just a matter of dragging the hero along on the journey.

The notion of the Bunker, training kids to fight in a war in a world of dreams etc., borrows from Ender’s Game and other stories where teenagers are forced into life and death situations surrounded by the backdrop of cosmic war. What I really wanted with this story though was for readers to experience Jack’s confusion, terror, and even indignation at the injustice of his situation.

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

I tried to make Jack an everyman type of teenage boy. He’s unsure of what direction he’s heading in. He loves games, pizza, lounging around and basically wasting time. When he’s suddenly thrust into this terrifying world he’s forced to “grow up” in a sense, but he never quite loses his boyish, smart-mouthed charm.

For basically the whole of Whiplash 1 (and most of Whiplash 2…spoiler alert), Jack is largely powerless to determine his own fate. He’s tossed around by circumstance and characters who are far more powerful and knowledgeable than he is, barely managing to survive even though his actions ultimately determine the fate of everyone around him.

I wanted to keep Jack in this state of feeling completely out of control for as long as possible, firstly, because I think it’s hilarious (sorry Jack!) and secondly, because it keeps him vulnerable and likable. Even as his character and abilities develop in further books, Jack isn’t the all powerful superhero who always acts decisively and with confidence. He’s a confused teenager, bumbling his way through extraordinary circumstances with no guidebook as to what he’s supposed to do.

In terms of character, Jack’s a big one for loyalty with friends and family. Those few companions he manages to latch onto as chaos ensues become an anchor throughout the story, giving him something to hold on to. He’s also deeply suspicious of authority and more than willing to bend the rules and fight the system, but this tendency is tempered by fear and a tendency to try and act logically where he can. The result of this is a smart mouth and a great sense of humor; both ways that he can fight against authority without actually risking his neck.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

I loved the scenes where Shadow and Jack bounce off each other. She’s one of my favorite characters to write dialogue for and when the two of them get together, the dynamic is fantastic. Probably the climax scene was the most enjoyable to write though, firstly because it signaled an end to the book (the feeling you get when you finally lock in a viable ending for a novel is wonderful!).

Secondly, it was a crisis moment for Jack and represented a kind of rewriting of everything that had come before. The whole purpose of Whiplash Book 1, for me as a writer, was to keep Jack off balance the whole time. At the close of the book, he’s finally starting to wrap his mind around his new reality, but the climax scene changes everything in just a few words. The gut punch Jack gets as his new “truth” is unraveled makes me feel for the guy so much and I loved writing it (again, sorry Jack!).

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

I’m actually half way through Whiplash book 4 believe it or not. Books 2 and 3 will hopefully be released this year (2022), and I’ll look to finish book 4 this year as well.

At the moment though, I’m doing final edits on an adult adventure/horror novel called The Seven Hungers, which I aim to self-publish some time in the next few months. It’s a Dresden Files type story which focuses on a censured sorcerer named Ambrose Drake who is given a temporary reprieve from his punishment to investigate an emergence from one of the Seven Hungers (hell worlds) which exist beneath our own.

The Seven Hungers has a similar pace to Whiplash and includes similar worldbuilding aspects, with a sci-fi/horror bent. The primary distinction with “magic” used throughout the book is that (in the case of the book’s protagonist), power is obtained largely through bodily injury; every time he’s cut or bones are broken, power is released.

Basically, if you like Whiplash, you’ll love this book. Details are on my web site and I’ll be posting on social media when it launches.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Are you ready to fight?
Abducted in the dead of night by a mountainous thug and a ginger-haired dwarf, eighteen-year-old Jack Flint is taken to an underground bunker where he and a group of other teens are forced to fight an implacable enemy in a dream world rife with danger.
Whiplash is a fast-paced story set with a rich and intricately detailed fantasy world where nightmarish creatures from the world of dreams threaten the waking world and teens with the ability to lucid dream must fight in a war for humanity’s survival. Above the throng, powerful demigods vie for control while Jack and his companions struggle to find a path out of the madness.
Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent and Ender’s Game.

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 29, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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