Welcome to the blog, Rod! Could you tell us a little bit about The Fourth Awakening?
The concept of the Fourth Awakening had its genesis in the research of my co-author Dr. Jeffery A. Martin. While the story is fiction, the science in the book is based on cutting edge research. There have been three previous times where mankind has undergone radical and unexpected changes that, once they occurred, there was no turning back. Our theory is, we’re currently moving towards another shift.
What led you to write this novel?
The type of person who normally would read about this type of science is typically a non-fiction only person. What we wanted to do was wrap the science in a fast-paced, character driven suspense story. We hoped to draw in a new audience by providing a nice “page turner” that would suspend reality for those who didn’t buy into the concept that we’re sitting on the cusp of a massive societal change.
What was the toughest challenge you faced when writing The Fourth Awakening, and how did you overcome it?
For me, the biggest challenge was writing with a collaborator. My six other novels had all been solo ventures on my part. Even when I was working in Hollywood, I didn’t have to deal with a committee mentality. I worked directly for the VP of Creative Affairs of a major studio and once I turned a script or treatment in, I was done with it. Here I couldn’t necessarily go off in certain directions because the science, and Jeffery, served as guardrails.
I like the idea of cultural awakenings. How did you make this fictional awakening believable?
I used the combination of classic Joseph Campbell “myth” storytelling with Syd Field cinematic pacing. I “showed” the story through the dialogue exchanges of the highly suspicious Penelope and the unflappable Michael Walker.
By having two characters challenge each other, I was able to drive the story with dialogue and not narrative.
What is your best advice on writing?
Write to communicate and not to impress. I have a short piece, “Five Tips to Make You a Better Writer Today”, which I’ll send to anyone who requests it at FreeTips@RodPennington.net.
Next, read the famous Chris Vogel coverage of Joseph Campbell’s storytelling technique. This especially true if you have any aspirations of selling scripts in Hollywood.
It is available HERE on my webpage.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Rod!
Rod Pennington has published seven novels and sold or had optioned numerous screenplays and treatments. His 2009 novel, The Fourth Awakening, has spent extended periods at #1 in multiple Kindle categories. On June 29th, Amazon listed it as their #1 recommendation in their “Mystery Thriller” newsletter email.
The follow up to the bestselling TFA, The Gathering Darkness, will be released as a “Kindle Exclusive” on October 1, 2011.
He has just released the first in another “Kindle Exclusive” series entitled A Family Reunion. This is a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family of four of the world’s best assassins. The next book in the series, Family Business, will be released in December 2011. If the series develops a following, Pennington says he will add two more titles per year, “until people get tired of reading them or I get tired of writing them.”
Pennington began his novel writing career in the “Men’s Action” genre in the 1980s. In addition to his own bestselling “Devon’s Way” series he produced “work-for-hire” novels for the Worldwide Library/Gold Eagle imprint of Harlequin Books based on the characters created by the late Don Pendleton in his Mack Bolan “Executioner” series.
When, along with the Berlin Wall, the men’s action genre collapsed, Pennington was recruited by the VP of Creative Affairs of a major motion picture studio and worked directly with him for many years.
Pennington also was an instructor at the Writers’ Digest Novel Writing Workshops.
Rod Pennington can be found on FaceBook as Rod Pennington and his book page is on FaceBook here: The Fourth Awakening.
The Fourth Awakening is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Note: I’m currently giving away FREE Kindle copies of “A Family Reunion” to everyone who requests it at Comments@RodPennington.net. I also have an obscure literary reference buried in the book and I’m offering a $100 Amazon card to the first one to figure it out. I’m posting clues on my FaceBook pages.