When Science Fiction Meets Conspiracy Thriller and the Reader Lives to Tell About It
Some Appreciation for Readers of My Debut Science Fiction Novel, Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project
My debut novel, Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project, is a sci-fi thriller centered on the sinister conspiracy to cover-up alien contact and UFOs by the government. I am fascinated by this subject, and am excited that it serves as the basis for my first book.
As a writer of science fiction books and conspiracy thrillers, I am also fascinated by what people think of my work. Reader reviews – good or bad – give me a lot of insight into what readers think and, just so you know, are often packed with delightful insight about the reviewer, especially so if they use words like “penis” when, in fact, no penises are ever explicitly mentioned in Truth Insurrected and are always safely kept behind fully-zipped zippers.
That’s OK, though. I don’t judge…at least not out loud.
In writing Truth Insurrected, one of my goals was to weave a lot of UFO lore – fact and [conspiracy] fiction – into the story. At the same time, I wanted it to be fresh and realistic, and engage the reader in a new take on some of the iconic tales, such as Roswell, that have come to define the subject. To do so meant writing, well, a long book. I was worried that the length may be a problem, but here’s one account that tells me otherwise:
“Science fiction thrillers about flying saucers and their occupants are a dime a dozen. Really good ones, however, are pretty hard to find. That's one reason why Daniel Douglas's novel Truth Insurrected is such an unexpected pleasure. I'm a painfully slow reader, but I finished this four hundred seventy-six page book in less than two days… It's very unusual for me to finish any novel that quickly, especially a long one…”
Another goal was to take a multi-genre approach to the book. I wanted to combine science fiction with suspense, mystery, adventure, conspiracy, and a “sprinkling of fantastical elements.” It was fun to write, and apparently turned out well:
“…you can't put it down. Heads-up: Although all the required elements are there for science fiction, The Saint Mary Project is much more of an X Files story of government cover up than a true sci-fi story -- which is not meant to be a complaint. For those of you who have had a bad experience with indie books in general, please know that Mr. Douglas is an excellent writer and either doesn't need or was smart enough to seek professional editing. Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary's Project has a well-crafted, intricate plot with interesting characters.”
Speaking of characters – and yes, I always use a professional editor – and whether they are interesting, I want to emphasize that when I write, I don’t believe in the story unless I believe the characters. They have to be three dimensional, and they have to drive the story. Thankfully, many readers have made comments like this:
“I really liked this science fiction detective story. The main characters were well developed and the chief heroes believable, the writing was well done, and the author created a sense of place as he wove fact and fiction together in a fast-paced and interesting plot.”
Ultimately, my goal is to make readers want more. Not in the sense that I left them hanging and they have to buy the next book in the series. No, no, that is just wrong, plain and simple. What I mean is that they enjoyed what I wrote, and they would like to read more of my work. If they say so, it is a joy to hear:
“There are plenty of wordy reviews but I'm not one to do that, so I'll just get to it. I'm normally not drawn to science fiction stories but I had seen it said somewhere to think of this book like 'X-files meets Tom Clancy'. That piqued my interest. I was immediately drawn into a masterfully written web of aliens, government involvement and the ultimate desire for truth. I look forward to future work by this author, I'm sure it also will not let the reader down.”
I must be striking a chord and will try my best to impress them all over again with new work. In the meantime, thank you for the kind words and your interest in Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project.