I'd like to welcome Michael Offutt to my blog today. I enjoyed his spectacular first release, Slipstream, and expect a lot from his sequel, Oculus. He's shared a post with us as well as an opportunity to win a signed copy! Enter in the Rafflecopter.
Death as a theme in Oculus ~ Michael Offutt
I think death defines our lives, and this is a theme in Oculus. From Z.E.R.O. to Jordan to Kolin, death is a cause, a motivation, and a means to make a living. It’s powerful, sad, and at times really awkward. Allow me to elaborate on this last part.
When my friend Joe lost his dad to a brain aneurysm many years ago, I asked him what happened. Joe told me that his dad died in the hospital. But to make matters worse, no one came out and told the family for 12 hours. They had all gathered in the waiting room and waited for information on how he was doing. Finally a nurse came out and said, “Oh, you guys haven’t been told? He passed away 12-hours ago.” Needless to say, Joe blew his stack. Yeah, the doctor had gone home without addressing the family. This really did happen…no joke.
That story stuck with me for years. And it crops up in Oculus. Jordan (who is defined by the absence of his father) is informed in a very unusual way about forensics results, and it really makes him both angry and disgusted. Basically, the police leave a message with his coaches. In a real world, this probably wouldn’t happen. People might say “this is illegal.”
I say to those people…so? It’s not like illegal things don’t happen every day. It’s not like people don’t get fired for doing stupid things.
It would be like having a sticky note pasted to a locker somewhere by a secretary saying “Sorry your dad died” before anyone knew that your dad was indeed dead. But I was so intrigued by the awkwardness of Joe’s personal story that I thought…something as bad as that could really happen. And being a writer, it crept into my story. Write what you know, right? That’s the “mantra” of the author sphere.
In beta readings, I got questions like, “Why would this happen this way? This seems incredibly inept and clumsy.”
I shrugged. “Yes, yes it is. But I’ve seen death handled with incredible ineptness, with incredible clumsiness or even callousness.” So I decided to write it that way. I think it’s closer to the truth. People in America don’t handle death well, and we skirt around the topic as if we really don’t want to face up to the fact that all of us will someday die.
And if you read further, you will see that death is something that defines every character in some way without exception.
Please check out my writing by going to:
One lucky commenter on my blog will win an Oculus bookmark.
Autumn has arrived in New York, and Jordan Pendragon attends his first classes as a freshman at Cornell. Born with a brilliant mathematical mind, he balances life as a research assistant with that of a student athlete.
But Jordan also has a quest. He must find the Black Tower, a monolithic edifice housing a thing that defines the very structure of the universe. Jordan believes it is buried somewhere in Antarctica under miles of prehistoric ice.
October finds Jordan earning a starting position with the Cornell hockey team. But a dark cloud gathers over his rookie season. Unexplained deaths, whispers of a cannibal cult, a prophecy, and a stone known only as the Oculus, cast a shadow over his athletic ambitions. It is the start of a terrifying journey down a path of mystery, murder, and to a confrontation with an Evil more ancient than the stars.
Free short story that's a lead-in to this book series: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236636
About the Author:
Michael Offutt writes speculative fiction books that have science fiction, LGBT, and paranormal elements. His first book, "Slipstream" has received some critical acclaim and was published by Double Dragon in the spring. The sequel, "Oculus" came out in November 2012. He has one brother, no pets, and a few roots that keep his tree of life sufficiently watered. By day, he works for the State of Utah as a Technical Specialist. By night, he watches lots of t.v., writes, draws, and sometimes dreams of chocolate.
Michael Offutt graduated from the University of Idaho in 1994 with a Bachelor's degree in English.
He keeps a blog and would appreciate a visit or two even if all you want to do is say hi.
Art relating to books: http://slckismet.blogspot.com/p/my-artwork.html