Illusion of Choice - Eric Ponvelle
This book combines just about everything I love: post apocalyptic, secret government agendas, zombies, and lots of action and suspense.
It's written quite well and it's easy to fly through the pages. I had a bit of a hard time connecting with the main character, but truthfully, I wasn't sure I was supposed to. He's learning about his world at the same pace as we, the readers, are.
Very interesting and lots of fun to read.
Some Bio Information
Eric Ponvelle grew up in the swamps of south Louisiana. After clawing his way out of there, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to work as a writer in the Technology industry. From his southern upbringing, along with his fascination and love of horror, dreams, and technology, Eric seeks to create stories that shock, intrigue, and terrify his readers. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and pets.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
I want to preface the fact that I was 14 when this happened, but the book started as a video game idea I had with some friends. I had just played Deus Ex, a fantastic, transhuman game, and I was inspired to do something more in that vein. Naturally, being into video games, I wanted to go that route, but I am a terrible programmer. I started writing the back story in the meantime, and then, as fate had it, I was required to finish it for a school project.
Through the years, I added more and more layers to it. Brave New World is in here, 1984 is definitely here, and a lot of other smaller things that meshed to create a story I could see in my mind.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Writing has always come easy to me. I work as a Technical Writer, and I have done that for several years now. Because of that, my process is very second nature. In fiction, I usually start with an idea. It may not be a plotline or anything, but it’ll be something that is just below the surface. I can see it, but it is murky, so I have to start working on that idea.
Writing is a very fun thing to me, and I have no problem failing at it over and over as long as I get something out of it.
3. What was your favorite part of writing this book?
The layering. One element I used was flashbacks to tell how everything came to be the way it is in the main storyline. I normally love this element, but I wanted to do something I always looked for: bread crumbing.
Every instance of flashback parallels something happening in the main story. I hate to point that out in case it was really obvious, but it is something I think is really neat, and I hope people enjoy that part of it.
4. What does the perfect writing environment look like to you?
It’ll become very apparent that I am a very disorganized person who will just drop into a situation and make it mine very quickly. I love writing in public places, not because I want to be seen writing, but because it gives me a little something extra to draw upon. Something about writing about things and seeing people gives a little humanity to it.
I will say my absolute perfect set up will have a computer with some very minimal software, coffee, a notebook with a pencil, and some music.
5. How would you describe your writing style?
As a professional technical writer, I have to, often, remove my tone from pieces. As such, my narrative style tends to be very sterile and concise while my dialogue and characters tend to be very colorful but detailed.
I’d say one flaw I am working at overcoming is my lack of detailing everything. I tend to assume a lot when writing, and while I am far better now than I was, I think I have some work to do.
I guess the best way to describe my style is if a journalist for a small newspaper read a lot of Lovecraft, and since he knew no one really read his columns, he decided to have a lot of fun.
6. What would you like readers to take away from your book?
At the absolute minimum, I want my readers entertained. I am very much an amateur fiction writer, and this book is my first long-form attempt. I am happy with the work, and I am proud it is done, but I would keep working on it, if I could. As long as someone walks away thinking, “that was fun,” I am pretty happy.
If I have to get a bit higher level, I want to push the idea that everything is subject to change. My belief system dramatically changed from when I started this book until it was released. My characters should reflect that. I never outwardly accept things anymore because I know that what is now may not be tomorrow.
7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
I want to entertain while enlightening. I think I’d consider my goal genre to be “High Pulp” or “High Pop” fiction. I want to give the reader a fun experience in a story, but I always want to have something of substance below the surface. Ideally, you would read this book once, walk away enjoying it. Then, you try it again, and you start to find little things to investigate. I think that’ll be a really rewarding experience when I can get to that level.