Genre: Dark Suspense/Paranormal
Date of Publication: May 6 2016
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 65,500
Cover Artist: ebooklaunch.com
Conspiracy. Murder. Secret experiments. Mind control. A detective, a journalist and a rich deviant struggle with their pasts as their actions set them on a collision course with each other and The Project.
Detective Andrea Nox has been asked to quietly investigate a bizarre and violent murder-suicide that could have consequences for Beacon City and the people in charge. Dead ends and odd clues are hindering her efforts, and when another similar murder occurs, she has to juggle the investigation and her own troubled past with the Beacon City Police Department.
Journalist Robert Duncan is visiting home after a personal crisis when the unthinkable happens, and secrets are unearthed about his family and his place in it. His involvement in a dangerous and far-reaching conspiracy grows as he uncovers information that implicates powerful people in horrible crimes.
Frank Mortimer, disturbed son of a wealthy and influential family, is taking part in an experimental program that has promised to make him better. However, with the shadowy and powerful group known only as The Project behind the program, what he is getting better at could prove disastrous for everyone else, as a dangerous power is unlocked inside him...
Their paths will converge in a shocking story of murder, conspiracy and clandestine experiments taking place that could change the world.
Neil Rochford is a freelance writer who loves fiction where bad things happen. After more than five years traveling from continent to continent and a few short stories, he finally got to work on his first book, and hopes to continue writing as many as he can. Originally from Ireland, he speaks three languages and has lived in Estonia, Brazil, France and Spain. He is a staff writer for the popular Irish podcast and website Those Conspiracy Guys.
I soak up inspiration from everywhere. However, a lot of the time my mind is like a leaky sponge, spilling most of the contents on the floor before I can get it to the place I wanted to use it. Real life, history, literature, movies and television, artwork, graffiti, overheard conversations and even dreams have given me ideas for stories. I could take a few different things and mash them together, or I could just focus on one subject or thought and try to expand that. It really depends on my mood and how much I’m willing to open myself up, so I try to remind myself every now and again to just stop and take everything in.
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
You know, I started thinking about it about halfway through the book, as the look of the characters themselves was kind of fluid for me. I never really liked when authors go into painstaking detail about the appearance of their characters, as I like to form them in my mind as I read. That being said, I wouldn’t mind the following for some of the main characters in The Blue Ridge Project:
Andrea Nox: Maggie Siff/Rosario Dawson
Robert Duncan: Charlie Cox/Skeet Ulrich
Captain Hugo Slade: Matthew McConaughey/Idris Elba
Frank Mortimer: Hugh Dancy
Dr. Richardson: Bryan Cranston
Charles Frey: James Gandolfini/Philip Seymour Hoffman - RIPx2, :’(
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
I stomp around for a while, cursing at myself, sometimes taking a drink or two. Then I go away and let the story stew. A lot of times, nothing will come to me until right until I’m about to go asleep, so then I stay up for a few hours and turn it over and over again in my head, looking at it from all the angles. Then I’ll be too tired the next day and forget a lot of it, so I’ll get frustrated again and turn around and read/watch something else, in part to take my mind off of it and in part to see if I can squeeze some inspiration out of it. Sometimes it comes back, sometimes there’s some new exciting idea or development and I jump on the keyboard all pumped and motivated, and sometimes I just force whatever I can remember and build on it from there.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
I took some of it from the stories about MKULTRA that took place years ago. A government sanctioned experiment into messing with people’s heads involving mind-bending drugs and manipulation of their thought processes. I think that the project itself, the secrecy surrounding it and the ramifications/implications of what they were doing is disturbing, to say the least. A little more comes from the Stephen King book Firestarter, just one of the many King books I read more than 30 times growing up. The rest is a little commentary on the nature of keeping secrets and subverting trust, something that is widely and blatantly done on a daily basis by those in charge of us.
5.What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Legitimacy. On one front, you have the people who knew you before you became an author, and have yet to see you as such. Their picture of you involves some sporadic typing followed by a lot of hanging around doing little other than being pretentious and thinking we’re smarter than them.
On another front, you have the readers you want to reach and connect with who just see you as another small fish swimming with millions of others, some of which have given them a stomach ache before and now they’re more cautious. “Nothing special,” they say to themselves, “probably won’t taste that good or fill me up, even if I don’t get sick, so I’ll just throw them back and cast my net for something else.”
Then, you have to see yourself as legitimate. Taking the above factors into consideration as well, you’re also the one looking at awful drafts and deleting large swathes of horrendous writing. You’re the one stuck in front of a blank screen, discarding the first thousand thoughts because they are pedestrian and unoriginal. You’re the one holding yourself up against all the success stories of your peers and trying to stay neutral, or dealing with the harsh words of readers and critics.
Overcoming all of that and learning to take pride in the finished work, to feel fulfilled from it, and to keep going goes a long way toward making it better.