My guest today is award-winning author John Wills. I have had the pleasure of editing his recent books, including this current release. I asked him what inspired him to write this book. Welcome, John.
Hi, Lorna. I wanted to let your readers know about my latest novel, The Storm. Here’s a brief synopsis: Anna’s life in the small town of Heavenly Harbor, Michigan, seems idyllic. Married ten years to her childhood sweetheart, Mark, she wants for nothing, except a baby. Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t share her enthusiasm. Anna has been secretly keeping a journal. She’s recorded her suspicions about Mark’s reluctance to share her dream and his possible infidelity. As she is about to confront him, lightning strikes, literally, causing her to lose her memory. The Storm will not only damage Anna physically, but possibly destroy her marriage as well—and Mark’s secret life is about to implode.
I was inspired to write this story because I’ve had people in my life who’ve suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. I’ve witnessed the steady progression, sometimes developing slowly, however, it may also have a sudden onset. The destruction the malady causes is beyond description. After a while, the victim hardly realizes what is happening. Sadly, however, those close to the patients suffer immeasurably. Their once-vibrant loved one disappears before their eyes. In the final stages, it’s not unusual for the victim to be unable to recognize family and friends.
So, while I was pondering a story involving memory loss, I thought it would be interesting if it centered around a young person. Rather than Alzheimer’s, I thought an injury-induced case of amnesia would make for a compelling story. Thus, the making of Anna’s story began.
I did my research with respect to injuries resulting from lightning strikes—how they affect the physical and mental well-being. And I wanted the protagonist to be likeable, believable, and strong. Anna is that person, and her tenacity after her injury makes her character even more powerful. The injury transforms Anna’s character, once a one-dimensional teacher and wife, into a strong determined woman who knows what she wants and how to get it.
Of course, what would a story be without at least one antagonist readers dislike right from the beginning? We have such a character in Vicky, a personal trainer at the local health club. Her chicanery and outright lack of morals wreaks havoc upon Anna’s marriage. Add to the mix a couple of great cops, and the recipe for a great novel is ready to serve.
Early reviews have been outstanding and I look for more to be posted. Now excuse me as I need to start the wheels turning and come up with a tale for my next book.
Thanks, Lorna, for allowing me to introduce my newest novel—The Storm.
John M. Wills is a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent. He is a freelance writer and award-winning author in a variety of genres, including novels, short stories and poetry. He has published more than 150 articles relating to officer training, street survival, fitness and ethics. John also writes book reviews for the New York Journal of Books and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. His book, Women Warriors, is available online and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial Gift Shop in Washington, D.C. John’s books include The Year Without Christmas: A Novel, Healer, and Dancer. Visit John at: https://jwillsbooks.com/.