Friday, May 13, 2016

Jeff Wheeler

Jeff Wheeler's best-known fiction includes the Legends of Muirwood & Covenant of Muirwood trilogies, The Whispers from Mirrowen trilogy, and a graphic novel, The Lost Abbey.

Wheeler's new novel is The Queen's Poisoner, book one in The Kingfountain Series.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
Caretaker, by Josi Russell

I haven’t read a straight science fiction novel in years and a fan of mine recommended I give this one a try because she thought I’d like it and she was right. The premise of the story gripped me right away. In the distant future, during a world-colonization program from planet Earth, space ships full of hibernating people spend the fifty-plus years of space travel unconscious, but there is one person, who fulfills a role called the Caretaker, who spends the voyage awake to make sure all the systems remain operational. It’s a lonely life and a sacrifice for the person chosen for this role. The self-sacrifice element alone would have impressed me, but here’s the twist. The Caretaker dies as the last passenger is about to go into the stasis pod. And so a man with a pregnant wife who was planning on hibernating fifty years to help colonize a new world with his wife and child is chosen by the ship’s computer to take the Caretaker’s place. He’s had none of the training or experience to fulfill his role while the ship continues to hurtle through space. The book begins five years into his assignment when another passenger is mysteriously awakened early. Together they discover the ship is not even going towards its intended destination. I love the tension, the human drama, and the mystery around whether the Caretaker died…or if he was killed.

Ibn Saud, by Michael Darlow

I got this as a Kindle Daily Deal and picked it up. I love reading biographies because not only do I learn from them, they also inspire me when developing characters for my books. This biography is about the man who founded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Some might be put off by history, but being a history major in college, I’ve learned a great deal about the geo-politics of the Middle East and how the European powers and the culture of the region have sowed seeds which continue to grow in strange ways. Not only has it helped me better understand the conflicts in that region today and how they started, but it has also introduced me to historical characters, Ibn Saud not the only one, that could very well find their way into my novels someday.
Visit Jeff Wheeler's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Queen's Poisoner.

--Marshal Zeringue