Thursday, March 7, 2019

Interview with mystery author John C. Waite

Mystery author John C. Waite joins the blog today. We’re chatting about his new thriller, The Tursiops Syndrome.

During his virtual book tour, John will be awarding a $50 gift certificate to to a lucky randomly selected winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Thousands of author John C Waite’s words flew past Alpha Centauri years ago, heading for the center of the galaxy, perhaps sparking an arthropod’s grin in route. Waite, a degreed journalist and retired Merchant Mariner has numerous writing and broadcasting awards to his credit, and millions of words in print and broadcast media. Originally from New Orleans he has called Panhandle Florida his home for fifty years, but still retains a taste for things Creole and Cajun. A recreational and professional sailor, his travels have covered the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, portions of south and Central America, Canada, Hawaii, Ireland, Britain, and Europe. John resides in Pensacola, Florida. He is a father to four, and grandfather to four. His books are available on Amazon.

Welcome, John. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The Tursiops Syndrome centers on one of my favorite animals, Tursiops truncatus. That’s the common bottlenosed dolphin. The plot is driven by a "mad" scientist. He isn't insane. He’s just angry. He's mad at the federal government, something with which many people these days can associate. He becomes the tool of a far-eastern organization that wants to destroy the United States. A detective in the Pensacola, Florida police department stumbles on the plot as she and a forest ranger acquaintance attempt to rescue a stranded dolphin.

Inevitably Hickory and Kevin fall in love in the course of the investigation. But with the aid of her brother, a television producer who helps to unravel the plot, she and Kevin manage to stymie the attack planned for a national holiday in Washington D.C.

What inspired you to write this book?
I don’t believe there was what many people think of as “inspiration”. I have known a lot of dolphins in my lifetime, tamed and in the wild. I spent my last summer in high school working as an assistant at the Gulfarium in Ft. Walton Beach Florida, and discovered just how intelligent porpoises are, and what they are capable of. I swam with them, assisted when they were injured, helped to provide a funeral for one that many of the divers held dear. That dolphin, a young male, drowned in a rockfall in the main tank.

While in high school I had aspirations to become a marine scientist. My best friend and I had a large collection of fish and other marine animals. That provided me some fodder for creating a marine scientist villain. In the story, he becomes Dr. Jame Crabtree, who suffers from a lack of recognition.

Excerpt from The Tursiops Syndrome:
“So how's John?” Jim asked.
Nina studied him.
“You know we aren't together anymore,” she said. “John spends more time at the Bureau offices than you spent with the dolphins. Neither of you should have spouses.”
Jim and Nina sat quietly looking at each other for several seconds.
“I remember how he showed up in St. Croix,” Jim said.
“He offered you a job.”
“He knew I wouldn't accept the demotion, and the job had nothing to do with cetacean studies.”
She held her gaze.
“He wasn't there for me,” Jim said. “He was there because he wanted you.”
Nina didn't flinch. They had had the conversation before.
“Who’s your current subject?” she asked, leaning on her elbows.
“Ah,” Jim said, his hands on the white cloth. “I named her for you.”
She shaded her eyes and stared at him.
“I call her Nina,” he said.
“Damn, Jim. I don’t know whether that’s sweet or not. But I don’t want to share my name with a porpoise.” She leaned back in her chair. “Do I look piscatorial to you?”
“She’s not a fish.”
“You said piscatorial. That means fishy. Nina is not a fish.”
“Don’t you know what I mean?” she asked. She drained the last few drops of Bordeaux from her glass.
“No,” he said, pouring more wine.
“I’ve seen how you look at those porpoises,” she said.
“Now ― Nina….”
“You look at them like you're watching a woman. I know how men look at women.”
“I look at you like you're a woman. That’s because you are a woman. A beautiful woman.”
“Nina, what do you think might happen if humans and porpoises made love?”
“You think maybe their offspring would be mermaids?”
Nina stared at him, then laughed; a spontaneous guffaw that sprang from deep inside.
“Jim - you're... that’s nuts. “
Jim smiled.
“Let’s go to my hotel,” he said.
He had a room for two nights, the duration of the conference, at the Windsor Court. It was his favorite hotel, not just in New Orleans, but in the world.
Although he was no longer a government-sanctioned scientist his love for cetaceans ran deep, and he went to the major conferences, often under the guise of assumed names and professional affiliations. He managed to keep the funding for his current Crabtree Cetacean Institute below the surface.
“Jim, I don’t know.”
“Please,” he said.
He was upbeat; no pleading, just an intimate invitation.
 She started to say something, shifted her gaze to his eyes, paused and nodded.
He had the check paid in short order and the taxi ride to the Court gave them just enough time to generate the needed heat. Two steps inside the door to his suite Jim reached out and folded her into his embrace. Less than a minute later they were naked atop the luxurious bedspread. But Jim delayed the coupling until he was lying spoon-like behind her, his right hand grasping her shoulder and his left on her hip.
“Please move,” he whispered.
And she began a slow undulation, a back and forth flexing across the soft bed.
They danced on the pillow-top for several minutes before her movements shortened and she went momentarily rigid.
“Oh, Nina” Jim whispered.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have several things working, including a biography of my best friend. He died in Viet Nam in the 60s, and I have written several chapters of his story, but I’m not sure I will be able to step away far enough to complete the book. If I do, it will be a fictionalized account of his life as seen through my eyes. He could have become his ambition, President of the United States. But a mortar shell killed him.

At this point, I am writing short stories and poetry, some of which may be found in the journal, Page and Spine.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always considered myself a writer. I hold a degree in journalism from the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at The University of Georgia, and on a graduate level have studied government, public opinion, surveying, etc. In high school at summer camps, I used to write love letters for fellow campers who were trying to woo their girlfriends. Got paid for it too. These days I do a modicum of paid writing for area publications. But mostly I write for my own satisfaction and hope to make some money in the fiction trade.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Since a lot of writing full time consists of sitting still and composing stories, yes, I write full time. Of course, there are many things that impinge on my time to sit still and think. Even going out for a burger can be considered writing as long as you take your story with you, mentally and emotionally. And I do have a part-time job, one that just pops up now and then.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing quirk is that I sometimes get a bit too wordy. Then I have to go back and take out the wordiness (which borders on preaching) in order to tell the story. And it’s the story that should elicit the emotional appeal in the written work, not the preaching.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My earliest wish was to be a pilot. We lived near the Moisant International Airport in suburban New Orleans and I loved to watch the planes landing and departing. As I matured I decided that really wasn’t my domain. Traveling can be great, but not necessarily what you want to do as a living. Of course, I later became a merchant marine captain and spent almost 20 years on big boats roaming the oceans. It was different. I could consider the vessels my second home.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I strive to produce material that readers will enjoy, both in the story and in language. I have three other volumes available these days. They can be found on my Amazon page, and they cover a gamut of material and interest. And I am always seeking critics. I like to know what people think., even if it isn't complimentary. 

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
And thank you for hosting me.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting, Lisa

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Angela Saver said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and interview both. Sounds great!

Unknown said...

Thanks Angela. Are you writing too?