Friday, May 4, 2012

Q and A

1. How long did it take to finish Satan’s Chamber?

Satan’s Chamber takes place in Washington, DC, and Sudan. While we are both intimately familiar with the former location, the latter location called for a great deal of research. Sudan was once a patchwork of independent kingdoms. Its modern borders were arbitrarily defined by colonial invaders in the nineteenth century. The resulting geographical and cultural diversity has spelled political chaos ever since, especially after the discovery of oil further inflamed the volatile situation. At the same time, the ancient history of the region is rich and complex. It took us two and one half years to get to know this extraordinary land, then create the story that occurs there.

2. What was the toughest part in writing your book?

Cross-country collaboration was our biggest challenge. Regular phone calls and constant email transmissions can’t compare to face to face discussion. (We had only four, fabulous day-long brainstorming sessions in those two and a half years.) Still the rewards of collaboration far outweighed the difficulties posed by distance. When it comes to figuring out the next plot twist, or the next layer in a character, again and again, two heads were better than one! And we both shared the same commitment to crafting a riveting story of survival, courage and redemption.

3. How did you settle on the title Satan’s Chamber?

Satan’s Chamber is a metaphor for the geo-political circumstances mirrored in our story, soul-destroying circumstances dictated by ruthlessness and greed. To say more might give away too much of the story. Yet among those trapped in this hellish situation, there are those who fight back, survive, and pursue salvation for all.

4. Is the National Identity Movement a real movement in Sudan?

The NIM is not a real movement, but the issue of national identity must be foremost in any plan to resolve the chaos of Sudan. Home to many tribes, languages, and ethnicities, the country has been at war with itself for three-quarters of its existence.

5. Are Tory and Wilkins going to hook up?

The chemistry is certainly there. But they are both independent spirits, and we have to get further into our second Tory book before we will know for sure how their relationship will play out. Stay tuned — the next book promises to be an even more thrilling ride for Tory.

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