Highlights from the interview with Wayne are listed below. Interview topic was on the Penitent – Part I. Quotes are from Wayne:
I like sci-fi. I digested it, and I talked with you on the phone. This is not a chapter book. Some books you put down, you come back, you resume it: it’s a fairy tale story. This one is overdrive, from the start. The flow is amazing. You’ve always got the threat of Ünger and all these other creatures lurking, smelling, sensing you there. And how you put this together—Is this your very first book?
The first part of it I enjoyed. There was a series a little while ago on HBO called True Blood. It was about vampires. I really appreciated the scriptwriter for that series even though it was sci-fi. He had the right descriptions to portray the Shifter in the animals. That’s what I identified in the first part of your book right off the bat; the way you had that same knack of making that transition when the serpent breaks into pieces . . . I don’t want to give the whole book away. But this was true with the black panther and the threat of these serpents with the soldiers, especially within the time frame the story is supposedly taking place. I thought you did that very very well. It actually reminded me of the same way the writer in True Blood portrayed similar scenes in that series. Another thing that I am finding in a lot of this type of writing is the detail you took in the time of the descriptions of the weapons, the materials, the scabbards and all the other details, such as the rankings of the men and the magical powers. Every one of these stories has that little hook, such as the magical part of Pall’s sword. You include that in there very very well.
The suspense and the sense of danger in your death, or of anyone in this book, in every chapter by Ünger—the threat is just constant. The way you have it flow, like a slow screen, where Ünger is sensing Pall out with his senses as a serpent and the others who have scattered, it’s really well done.
You wrote a chapter whose movement stays with me right now. It’s the one where you describe Pall walking in the stream and his rubbing against bodies, the color of red going by. I actually felt a body rub against my own leg. The hair on my back actually stood up. The way you wrote that part of the book was just moving. It really was. Did you do a tremendous amount of editing in this book?
Also, you integrated songs into the story throughout the book, some of which saves lives. They also have a calming effect on others. I have never seen that in a sci-fi book. That one caught me for a twist and it fit in appropriately.
I got the Penitent and the word penitent was a brand new name for me. I had to do a search on it. It’s 14th century and is “a feeling or expressing humble or regretful pain or sorrow for sins or offenses.” I think that alone, the cover and the name of it, gets the curiosity up for a reader to pick the book up to start with. How long has this book been out?