We are delighted to welcome author Judith A. Boss to Omnimystery News today.
Judy's romantic novel of suspense is Deception Island (The Wild Rose Press; March 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the chance to spend some time with her talking about it.
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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to the lead characters of Deception Island.
Photo provided courtesy of
Judith A. Boss
Judith A. Boss: Rachel St. Claire is the protagonist of Deception Island. Although I didn't intend it when I wrote the novel, Rachel clearly represents me with my quirks, and dreams — and fears. As the novel progresses she is forced to face and overcome her fears. Trevor Brookenridge is a Canadian geophysicist who falls head-over-heels in love with Rachel during their trip to Antarctica. Rachel, however, is not the only person to come around to love Trevor — I realized after completing the book that Trevor also represents my ideal man! One of my favorite characters is Hilde Braun, a high-ranking neo-Nazi and the arch villain in the novel. Hilde represents my dark side. Her attempts to kidnap Rachel and steal the pendant are constantly, and sometimes brutally thwarted yet she persists and persists even in the face of death.
OMN: Into which genre would you place this book?
JAB: Deception Island is a romantic/suspense novel. While at an archaeology dig in Afghanistan, Rachel St. Claire comes across a pendant with strange shifting symbols. Not long after, she receives a call from her colleague, Dr. Grace McAllister, insisting she come with her and her nephew, Trevor, a handsome polar geophysicist, to Antarctica to examine an unusual body that was found in an ice cave. Before Rachel can respond, bandits sent by the ruthless Major General Braun storm the site. Just as they are about to seize Rachel, a helicopter appears with Trevor who was sent by his Aunt to bring Rachel to Antarctica. Little does Rachel know that a group of bioterrorists who are engaged in secret genetic experiments in an abandoned World War II Nazi base under the Antarctic ice are after the pendant — and her.
OMN: Describe your writing process for us.
JAB: The writing of Deception Island was more of an adventure than a linear process. I began with an obsession with Antarctica and an idea for a story. Being a writer/researcher by profession, this was followed by extensive research on the setting and history of Antarctica, including a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, including Deception Island, where I took numerous photos and interviewed people who worked there. I also read every book I could find on Antarctica. Once this was complete, I came up with a list of characters. From there the story mostly developed itself, all the time taking unexpected twists and turns.
OMN: How true are you to the settings in the book?
JAB: Deception Island is true to the setting in terms of the descriptions of the wildlife, geography, and history of Antarctica as well as the sightings of Nazi U-boats in the Antarctica area after World War II. However, I created a new setting under the ice sheet of Antarctica, which includes a neo-Nazi base, where genetic experiments are being conducted to create a new Aryan race of humans, and an inner world inhabited by gentle ethereal beings.
OMN: If we could send you anywhere in the world to research the setting for a story, where would it be?
JAB: If I could travel anywhere in the world to research my next book it would be to the Antarctic Peninsula again, which I think is one of the most beautiful and magical places in the world. Right now this is out of the question because I have a very elderly, and much beloved, Corgi who stops eating and begins pining away if I'm gone more than three nights. Once she goes to Corgi heaven, I'm going to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic Artist and Writers Program grant to stay at one of the stations in Antarctica where I will conduct research and interviews and begin writing a sequel to Deception Island.
OMN: How did Deception Island come to be titled?
JAB: I came up with the name Deception Island together with my publisher. I love the title since it conveys a sense of underlying treachery. It is also a real place we visited in Antarctica and the setting for part of the novel.
OMN: When choosing a book to read for pleasure, what do you look for?
JAB: I mostly like mystery, thriller, suspense, and paranormal themes in novels. Some of my favorite mystery/thriller authors are James Patterson, Susan Brown, Dan Brown, and Agatha Christie. I also like Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He has well-developed female protagonists and he does a great job with the setting in Botswana. I also like cross-over novels like J.K. Rowlings with her Harry Potter books. R.L Stein, author of the Goosebumps books, is another favorite of mine. Although his books are marketing primary for middle grades, he's a wonderful writer for all ages and keeps me hooked until the end.
OMN: What kind of television series do you watch for entertainment?
JAB: I like watching the Science Channel (especially the shows about Antarctica and about the galaxy and astronomy) and the Discovery Channel. PBS is another favorite including shows such as Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, and the McLaughlin Hour. My favorite television series is the Big Bang Theory. I'm also (or was) a fan of Murder, She Wrote, The Colbert Report, Desperate Housewives, The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Jeopardy.
OMN: Create a Top 5 list for us on any topic.
JAB: The Top 5 places I would like to visit on this Earth (I'd jump at a chance to travel to other planets and galaxies) are: Antarctica, southern South America, Egypt, Botswana and Paris.
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Judith Boss was born in the village of Honeoye Ralls in upstate New York in the heart of wine country. An avid writer, when Judy was 11-years-old she wrote and illustrated her first "novel," a story about her beloved parakeet "Sparky." My Little Sparky was followed by several other novelettes and a book of poems. Upon completion of graduation school Judy worked as a writer/researcher for the Nova Scotia Museum. She also taught philosophy for several years at the University of Rhode while continuing to pursue her career in writing. In addition to her novel Deception Island she is the author of several short stories and five college textbooks with McGraw-Hill. When not writing Judy enjoys hiking, bird-watching, reading, and spending time with her family and friends and her Corgi.
For more information about the author, please visit her website at JudyBoss.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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