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Friday, August 31, 2012

Author Spotlight : Marty Steere - Sea of Crises


 
Since I had some spare time tonight, I thought I would catch up with a few GP's and Spotlights. So tonight readers, starring on The Phantom Paragrapher is author Marty Steere and his book "Sea of Crises".
Synopsis: Sea of Crises- Marty Steere- April 2012
That shouldn't be here." Those are the last words uttered by Commander Bob Cartwright in September 1976, just before all communication with the crew of Apollo 18 is inexplicably lost during the astronauts' first moonwalk. Frantic attempts to re-establish communications with the astronauts are unsuccessful. Three days later, however, as NASA is scrambling to put together a rescue mission, astronomers detect a burn of the service propulsion system, and, on schedule, but still in eerie silence, the command module begins its return transit, culminating in the welcome sight of the capsule descending majestically beneath a trio of parachutes into the South Pacific. But when the hatch is opened, the navy divers tasked with assisting the astronauts into the recovery helicopter make a gruesome discovery. The bodies of the three men inside have been burned beyond recognition, victims of a failed heat shield. And with them has died any chance of learning the meaning of Cartwright's enigmatic last statement or what transpired during those three blacked out days in the Mare Crisium, or Sea of Crises. Unfortunately, unless and until man returns to the moon, it's a mystery that will remain forever unsolved. Or will it? Thirty-six years later, Cartwright's sons make a shocking discovery: The capsule that came down in the Pacific Ocean with three charred remains was not their father's capsule. And the body they buried all those years before was not their father. What they've uncovered puts the three brothers on the run, chased by a ruthless group who will stop at nothing to preserve the secret behind the fate of the Apollo 18 astronauts. The brothers will need to set aside past differences and pool their talents if they are to stay alive and unravel the mystery behind what really happened in the Sea of Crises.
Guest Post - Marty Steere :
 
My thanks to Paula for giving me the opportunity to make this post and introduce Sea of Crises.  It’s been fun sharing the book with the reading public over the past several weeks, and I’ve enjoyed the feedback.  The question I’m asked most often is, Where did the idea for the story come from?
While it’s hard to say exactly when an idea forms, I know how this one evolved.  It grew out of a process that I can pretty well track in my mind. 
In the beginning, I knew I wanted to stage an adventure, something that would be similar to the books written by my all-time favorite author, Alistair MacLean.  He penned several terrific novels in the 1960s and 70s, books that I discovered and devoured in high school, and I wanted to capture some of the magic I felt reading his stories.  One of MacLean’s favorite techniques was to put a relatively small cast of characters, including at least one with a dark secret, in a remote, harsh and isolated environment and let the sparks fly.  I thought it would be an interesting starting point for my story.
I was casting about an environment that would satisfy the “MacLean” criteria when I came up with one of most harsh environments imaginable:  The moon.  The minute I thought of it, I loved it.  It’s a place that’s been featured in a lot of science fiction and some horror, but it hasn’t been the setting for much mainstream fiction, and that’s what I was contemplating.  Moreover, in addition to satisfying the harshness criterion, it had the benefit of being extraordinarily remote.  But, I asked myself, did it satisfy the third prong - was it sufficiently isolated?  After all, the astronauts in the Apollo program were constantly monitored by mission control back on Earth. 
So then I thought, what if the astronauts in my story were cut off from all communication with Earth?  Wouldn’t that pretty much isolate them?  And the more I considered it, the more I realized that it would also be very eerie for the loved ones back at home.  As I looked at it from their standpoint, it took on a whole new dimension.  Then, I thought, what if something were to happen that would prevent the astronauts from ever telling what actually took place?  Wouldn’t that make for a compelling mystery?  Finally, I asked myself, what if I were to have the sons of one of the astronauts finally discover the secret, a secret that could get them killed?  And, voila, I had my basic outline.
 
 
 
 
 

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