Our Thrill Of Suspense Blog has undertaken the publishing of a new blog series titled Behind The Book.
We patterned it after the idea Behind the Music, a popular television series on VH1. Behind the Music series focuses on the music industry through the story of the musical artists or groups. They are interviewed and profiled, and they discuss how their careers became successful and what hardships they undertook to gain the respect and success that had them being featured on Behind the Music.
But the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect. It isn’t about the author. It is about the book. And we, Bob and I, are beginning with our most recent nine books that have been published since 2012.
We hope you enjoy the story what went into each book and each series and, if you haven’t already read the book, you’ll consider doing so in the near future.
BEHIND THE BOOK #1:
OMG (Oh My God), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance
OMG is the first book in the CUL8R (See You Later) series. The motivation behind the entire series is pretty simple. In the late 1990’s and early 21st century, young people, i.e. teens, were inundated with books and films where the heroes or main characters are zombies, vampires, werewolves, superheroes and other interesting, but not real people. No one was an everyday kind of person who just goes about life and must depend on themselves and their friends to get through the crisis. We decided we wanted our teens, while trying to do the right thing and when confronted with adversity, to outsmart, outlast, outwit and generally outdo the bad guys…without superhuman strength, fangs or magic wands.
A second element of the early 21st century was that teens have more challenges to deal with everyday. Of course, there is always peer pressure, but the opportunities to make bad choices are greater than they’ve ever been. Plus, there’s the overload of traditional media like television, films and music, as well as video games, all delivered at hyper-speed, aided by social media and the internet.
We thought, what if there were real-life teens who had no super powers, and what if they were confronted with everyday kind of teen issues, and what if they had to resolve these issues, let’s say, in the past? A fish–out–of–water story where the comforts, conveniences and cleverness that teens rely on today isn’t available. Then what?
So, imagine someone from the past is having a serious problem. A problem not unlike what you see in today’s news, hear about from your friends or learn about in school. Maybe its on Twitter, Face Book, Instagram or just an text message on your phone.
As authors, we pulled a Houdini and cast off the chains of young adult literature. We asked ourselves, where would we go and what would we do if we had no boundaries in time or location? The possibilities are endless. And what if we could actually help someone and make a difference in someone’s life that would impact their future? What if what we did would even give them a future? And what if we were teenagers, just learning about first love, independence and responsibility as we faced these sometimes life-and-death situations?
Time travel…what a concept!
Bob and I thought it would be great fun to create a series that allows our characters to travel back in time and see how the world was in past decades. Oddly enough, our teenage characters usually find that clothes, cars, customs, careers, money and even food are very different, but people haven’t changed all that much over the years.
Next question was where to set the series. Bob and I always wanted to live near the ocean and we both love Fort Myers Beach, so we decided that our characters would enjoy growing up there. Who wouldn’t? It also offers a stark contrast to the places they travel to, such as Estes Park, Colorado or central Texas or a deserted island.
Oh yeah…one more unusual element of the series. While the teens have decided there should be a set of rules to guide their travels back in time, such as not changing historical events or doing anything for personal gain, they find that everything is related and all events have a residual effect. Plus, there are things that cannot be predicted or controlled. Our characters are neither all good nor all bad…just like real teenagers. But they try very hard to do the right things for the right reasons…not always with positive results.
The rest of what you need to know about the first book is in the blurb for the first book.
Three high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.
For Kelly, it’s a major adjustment to move from the only life she has ever known in Texas to live with her aunt in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. She quickly makes friends with her quirky next door neighbor, Scott and his best friend, Austin. In her aunt’s garage, they find a long-lost invention of Thomas Edison called “The Telephone to the Dead”. Edison had abandoned the project and given it to Kelly’s great-great-grandfather.
Scott tinkers with it until they can hear sounds coming from it. But instead of broadcasting music . . . it picks up conversations from the dead. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.
A teenager’s voice separates from the rest and begs for their help to clear her reputation. They are shocked to find out that she had gone to their own high school . . . 47 years ago. They research the girl’s story and discover that her name was Wendy and she had been a popular cheerleader who had apparently committed suicide.
The teens are touched by Wendy’s cries and pleas, but they have no way to go back in time to help her. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. Kelly and Austin are very skeptical. Even Scott isn’t sure it will work, so they try it out on his sister’s pet turtle. Amazingly, the turtle disappears. But did it travel to the past or just wander off?
Finally, they decide to humor Scott and go along with his claims of time travel. They meet on the beach after everyone else has gone home. They stand in the formation Scott insists will create the perfect vortex for time travel. At the last moment, a fourth person runs forward and is pulled into their adventure back to 1966.
They figure out a way to get close to Wendy without her asking too many questions that they can’t answer. But as they discover the secret to her death, they find it’s not as clear-cut as it would seem. A romance gone wrong, an over-attentive teacher and a young girl’s dreams for the future are all twisted into a mystery that causes the teens to take greater risks than they could have imagined. It all becomes very real when their own lives are in danger and they realize they may never make it back to the present.
Some of the recent reader’s comments have been…
“Thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, exciting tale. This is a great teen/youth book. I not only enjoyed the story and plot but I fell in love with the characters. You don’t see all of the teen angst that you so often see in the YA books. This group of kids actually encourage each other and affect each other positively. This story never had a dull moment.”
“A great ensemble cast is gathered together. Today’s high tech teens struggle, sometimes hilariously, to cope in the not-so-distant past. And pitch-perfect dialog coupled with a wonderful sense of timing make this is a really good, quick read, with fine values, exciting adventure, and even some pleasingly wise snippets of food for thought. This looks like a really fun series, and it’s well worth following.”
You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.
Here’s the first four books in the CUL8R [See You Later] series.
Here’s how to acquire your own copy of OMG or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE.
When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’ve always been a storyteller. I was four years old when I wrote my first one. And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk. Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.
Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell. Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.
The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process. I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later). The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards. For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.
To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.
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