We Are All On This Planet For A Very Short Time

William J. Borak Author Interview

Stranger on the Shore follows a grieving man who finds love, intrigue, and danger when he encounters two captivating women with mysterious pasts while navigating a treacherous web of revenge and deceit. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

For me, the beauty of writing is that you can write about any topic that happens to be rolling around in your brain at any point in time. The majority of writing instructors always say you should write about what you know best from your personal experiences. However, for this story I decided to step out of my comfort zone and rely on my imagination and general life experiences.

The one trigger for me was a song from a long time ago entitled “Stranger on the Shore”, a beautiful, somewhat haunting melody that was very popular in the early 1960s by Acker Bilk. Typically, it would cause one to think about a romantic walk along a beautiful shoreline setting. I originally thought about writing a short story, possibly about a brief romantic interlude.

As I was in the early stages of writing about the main male character Chris I decided to go in the opposite direction as I don’t fancy myself a romance author and wanted to go with a mystery. Rather than Chris meeting some beautiful young woman strolling along the Jersey shoreline, I decided to go with an anonymous upscale, youthful, attractive, lifeless figure lying on the garbage-strewn rocky shoreline of the East River in NYC. This would be my Stranger on the Shore and my mystery was born. The problem now was I had no clue at the time where to take the storyline from there. Was she the victim of a lover’s quarrel, a possible rape victim, or the victim of some random attack by a roving gang, etc. There were a lot of possibilities.

This became an iterative process for me. I had no idea in what direction this story would go; over time it just kind of took on a life of its own. I would write a couple of pages and then revisit it the next time I had the urge to write and either expand on what I just wrote, or sometimes, completely trash it and go in a different direction. My best thinking was late at night in bed trying to determine the best course of action that made sense. I had many sleepless nights working out all the twists and overall storyline. It was a real challenge.

Chris and Marisa are intriguing and well-developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

As several family and friends have mentioned there is a lot of my personality in Chris, so he was easy to develop as a character. I loved the idea of turning his life upside down with the death of his fiancé at the height of both their careers. It was easy then to take his character and turn him into a potential drunken recluse and then select someone or a trigger that would pull him out of his funk. Enter Arielle, the catalyst who would pull him from the depths of despair to re-energizing his life and at a key turning point in the whole story challenge him to completely change his life.

Marisa was much more of a challenge because her transformation in becoming one of the most charismatic and formidable women of her time is the basis of the book. Manipulating her character by having her at first inhabited with the spirit of the deceased Theresa was something I borrowed from the movie Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beaty and James Mason from the mid-seventies. That was the key, however, for her to meet with Chris, and the start of their relationship and eventual love affair.

Chris continues to challenge her athletic skills and groom her business acumen as he is working to awaken or trick her into awakening her real identity. This is all useful for Marisa as it builds her confidence and awareness that she is somebody special. Moreover, all these activities and travel all over the globe serve as the perfect vehicle to develop this torrid love affair and bond that the two of them were always meant to be together, or as she calls it, divine intervention.

Once Marisa breaks out of her cocoon and transitions into the majestic butterfly that is Ana, she was the most exciting character to write about and the whole story falls into place now, once her background is revealed. Developing the final storyline of her being the “warrior princess” from Colombia was the most fun in writing this story and bringing all the lingering questions to a final resolution in her battle with Baka.

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

You can take this story on two levels if you take the time to really think about what you just read. The highest level is a fight of Good versus Evil as Arielle points out to Chris and one Ana eventually realizes in her conversation with Arielle at the end.

The other theme at a more detailed level is we are all on this planet for a very short time and what we do with our lives during this brief time is our decision or part of a bigger plan that has been pre-determined by some higher power or spiritual advocate. There are forks in the road on the journey of life and which road you choose (free will) is up to you or are you being led by some positive force to choose one road over another and all the challenges you will face because of that decision.

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

I have started writing about a serial murder spree during 1968 in the Village of NYC. The focus is on two detectives and the turbulent times of that unique era serve as a very colorful background.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

This spellbinding fictional story spins a web of linked mysteries about a beautiful young woman, Marisa, who is found almost lifeless on the bank of the East River in New York City. The Investigating Detective’s preliminary conclusion — she “must have fallen out of the sky.”

Chris, grieving the loss of his fiancé Theresa, meets the enigmatic Arielle on the beach and agrees to meet her at a party. However, when he arrives at the party, he finds no sign of Arielle, but instead meets Marisa, a waitress who bears an uncanny resemblance to Theresa and even possesses her complete memory. Chris is stunned by the coincidence and wonders if everything is part of some greater plan orchestrated by Arielle.

As the story unfolds, Marisa’s identity is revealed and her destiny to face one of the most notorious cartel leaders in a deadly battle becomes clear. Along the way, Ana and Chris develop a tumultuous love affair, which ultimately leads Chris to fight by Ana’s side as she battles the cartel leader. But the story takes a twist when the mysterious Arielle appears at the most critical moment in the fight, adding another layer of mystery to the tale. Will Chris and Marisa triumph over their foes and find happiness together, or will the forces against them prove too strong? Follow along as Stranger on the Shore unravels these mysteries and more.

Posted on May 2, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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