Good people are imperfect. Bad people aren’t.
Posted by Literary Titan
The Smallest War follows a group of military operatives who go up against Russian operatives in a battle to control a new oil source. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I was a Cold War kid so thought it would be fun to pitch the old enemies into a battle. During research for The Smallest War, I came across the USA/USSR Maritime Boundary Agreement and realised I’d found the catalyst for the confrontation. The first draft of The Smallest War was a heavyweight, weighing in at a little over 140K words. It detailed the backstory of the United States buying Alaska from Russia and how the error in the alignment of the boundary across the Bering Sea came to be. Sadly, there was a “Kill your darlings” year during which I slimmed the novel down. That said, it is a better book for the cuts.
Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters’ personalities grow organically as you were writing?
A bit of both. I wrote outlines for the characters detailing their looks, speech patterns, habits, heritages and dreams. I also wrote a plot which was around 17K words. As The Smallest War developed, so did the characters, but the more refined development came with the assistance of an editor. There was no particular guidance given, more just observations about the characters themselves. In the draft the editor read, the main characters were verging on superhuman, and the editor thought they could do with taking a toilet break (i.e. do those things that people do as a matter of course each day, such as being injured if they were involved in a car crash).
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I sweated over the epigraph “Good people are imperfect. Bad people aren’t.” It’s the main theme of The Smallest War, and I hope I’ve crafted the characters to fit the premise. We are all flawed, but overwhelmingly we are good. There are only a few of us that are perfectly malevolent, like Major Regina Volkov.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
In light of what I learnt writing The Smallest War, I’m re-writing the first novel I wrote. The first novel did the rounds with the agents in Australia and was put in the drawer while I wrote The Smallest War. It’s not a sequel or prequal, just another book I’d like to read. It will be published in 2023.
About Literary TitanThe 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 October 17, 2022, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, crime thriller, ebook, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Mark Sheehan, military, military fiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, The Smallest War, thriller, war, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.