Friday, April 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Omari and the People by @xhosa60 #interview

Action/Adventure - Historical Adventure
Date Published - October 2014

In an ancient time, a people made homeless by a devastating fire are led across a treacherous desert by a thrill-seeking thief, to a land he doesn't believe exists - and he started the fire. 
In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based on descriptions of the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter,) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home on fire to start anew and cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place to which only he can lead them, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari's involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead - his very life - is jeopardized.

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Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Yes. People can either come together as a community to face shared adversity or die.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing my own work. I might love a phrase or an idea, and I can be the last person to notice that it doesn’t work. 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Two – Omari and the People and Schroeder’s Angels (working title). Two very different stories, like two children. I love them both for different reasons – no favorite.

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

Either Michael Ealey (Almost Human) or Bruno Mars. There is grace, intelligence and edge in their vivid faces,
When did you begin writing?

When I was 9 or 10, I think. I wrote a short horror story about the recent blackout with devouring monsters that were never seen.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

Ten months for the first draft, but it took much longer to get it to where it is now.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

No. If anything the beauty of writers I most admired made me doubt I could ever do something so brilliant.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Watching the story and the characters take on its own life – its own logic..

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Love, Leadership, Community, Forgiveness

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

I have another completed novel and ideas for two more stories. What comes next depends on how people react to Omari and the People once they know it exists.

Chicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. Stephen currently resides near Orlando, Florida.

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