Please welcome Jay Chalk, author of Revolution 2050.
Jay is a writer and fan of dystopian scifi and the author of the new Revolution 2050. (See my blurb-length review at the end).
You are thrown into your favorite story (not your own). Which story and who would you be?
- I would be Jake Grafton in Stephen Coonts’s Flight of the Intruder. My love for flying aside, Grafton, a naval aviator, goes through insightful, mental anguish when it hits him that he and his fellow pilots are nothing but sacrificial pawns in a highly politicized Vietnam War. My novel’s protagonist, Sam Moore, in Revolution 2050, is gripped with the same desperate realization as a member of a political party of terror, but with a different outcome. Thrown into Jake Grafton’s boots would most definitely test my personal inner strength and integrity.
2. What is your biggest challenge/insecurity in your writing life and how do you overcome it?
A. This will probably sound overused and vanilla, but my biggest challenge is getting my characters’ emotions from the visual to the written; getting their thoughts, feelings and responses onto paper. As far as insecurity as a writer—I never overcome it. I’m always worried that I screwed something up somewhere and that my work ends up as only a caricature of itself.
Tyrean: We all feel that way, don't we?
3. What’s your favorite part of writing (brainstorming, world-building, rough draft writing, editing)?
A. My favorite part of writing is while I’m writing, I discover that I’m onto something special and I can’t get the words down fast enough. To use a cliché, “it just flows,” or “in the zone.” My second favorite part is the beer afterwards.
4. When and where do you write? How did you discover that was best for you?
A. I write at a desk in one corner of my living room, with a nice outside view of the East Texas forest—and with all the remotes and phone within arm’s reach. This might sound strange, but I actually use a desktop computer (gasp)—I don’t even own a laptop (more gasps). When I’m not teaching, and the writing bug has hit, I’ll start before sunup with black coffee so strong it could melt a metal spoon. No sissy coffees here. And I go from there. Like most debut authors, I still have a full-time day job. Any free time I can squeeze out to sit down at the keyboard at home, I savor it. I’m a blue-collar writer.
Tyrean: Blue-collar writers rock!
5. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why that?
A. I posed that question to one of my high school classes. The girls gave various answers, but the guys unanimously said “x-ray vision.” If I could have one superpower, it would be the power to fly unaided. As a pilot, I’m in a cocoon of aluminum with gauges, gadgets and screens, just to get from point A to point B. And yet the view is still breathtaking. To just will one’s self to float and move in any direction at any speed without the aid of a mechanical device would be the ultimate high—no pun intended.
Tyrean: That's one of my top superpower hopes, too.
6. How does your faith inspire or inform your writing life and writing projects?
A. I am a Christian. Yet I’m not consumed with religion (maybe I should be). Still, I pray for inspiration all the time. And I usually receive it, but to me, in the most unusual ways. If my writing is successful, and by successful I mean opening people’s eyes, I have no one to thank for mission accomplished except the Lord. Every one of my works has what some call a “supernatural” event occur. I don’t think of it as supernatural at all. It’s divine intervention.
7. So, how did you discover the idea for your book, Revolution 2050? (Or what led you to start the book?)A. All I have to do is listen to or watch the “news” and the media’s reaction. I’m also a student of history. Events that are happening now, not only in our country, but also across the world, have happened before—and almost always with the same outcome. Society’s slow inculcation into a Godless ideology, such as in the Soviet Union or in Mao’s China, or today, in North Korea, is nothing new. Only the names and places have changed. Some have compared Revolution 2050 to Orwell’s 1984. For me to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Orwell is an undeserved honor. While there are some elements of 1984 in the novel, a lot of the work is actually based on historical facts. The former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, in his book, Open Letters, describes life as a dissident in Soviet controlled Czechoslovakia. Life in Cold War Czechoslovakia, while not quite as harsh as in the Soviet Union or Hitler’s Germany, was nonetheless charging headlong that way; it was a police state. And I saw early steps heading in that direction here in the United States when I began Revolution 2050.
Tyrean: Thanks for all of your thoughtful answers, Jay!
Official Book Blurb:
Samuel Moore is living a dystopian lie…
After a civil war, the North American Commonwealth now dominates the eastern half of the former United States. Controlled by a totalitarian regime called the Directorate, the NAC demands compliance, awareness, and unity. A Directorate member and teacher, Sam enjoys the benefits while skirting the forbidden.
Then Sam encounters Katie Spencer. She sneaks him a short wave radio and he hears the Western Alliance broadcasts. Katie also reveals a video she captured of NAC death camps. Sam realizes he’s involved in a nightmare that could shake every foundation.
With the video broadcast date approaching and several students desperate to escape to the Western Alliance, Sam is forced to decide. Remain loyal to the Directorate? Or abandon all he’s ever known to fight for freedom?
Tyrean's Tiny Review:
From the first chapter to the climatic, the tension in Revolution 2050 ratchets up tight as both Sam and Katie struggle to find the right path to take, the right way to fight for the rights and freedoms of themselves and those they love. Sam and Katie find themselves both drawn into a battle with high stakes, and their choices may save or sacrifice the people around them. With unexpected twists and turns, and unexpected possibilities of betrayal and reconciliation, Revolution 2050 takes a new path into the realm of dystopian thrillers. I highly recommend it!