Today DeeSWhite.com welcomes author, John O’Neill who has graciously taken a moment to converse with us about his novel Kafira which was recently released. John resides in Australia so it was interesting connecting with the time difference but we made it happen and following is the end result of our perseverance:
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Author: John O’Neill
Release Date: November 6, 2012
List Price: $6.99
In 1981, Kim Il Sung, supreme leader of North Korea, announces he has landed rockets on the moon, claiming the moon for North Korea to the exclusion of every other nation on earth. His claim is not without credence, as Il Sung threatens to unleash a deadly virus if his demands are not met. Shin Min Shu is the ingenious North Korean biomedical scientist who has been forced to develop this virus.
Kafira Weiss is an Israeli biomedical scientist whose passionate life purpose is to find cures for deadly diseases. This new development with North Korea has her angry but also afraid for the people she loves, and soon, because of her expertise, she becomes personally involved. The CIA believes the United States is being threatened; however, they need proof. How can they be sure of Il Sung’s claims?
Kafira will be part of a team sent to the space. She will become the first woman to land on the surface of the moon. With trepidation, she agrees to the mission, but wonders, what will she do if Il Jong’s declarations are true? What if Min Shu’s virus is real and able to infect the earth with a deadly disease? Will Kafira be brilliant enough to find a cure in time, or will one man’s greed lead to the end of human life in the universe?
DeeSWhite: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always admired the way in which authors used words to describe emotion and environment. I am an Engineer and as such assumed a skeptical view of my own imagination being able to describe emotion and environment in such a way that it would be interesting to others. I have written many thesis and lengthy reports, which I regarded as a chore. The prospect of me voluntarily writing a book was absurd!
DeeSWhite: What inspired you to write your first book?
Last Christmas in Australia, there was discussion around the table about the Moon Landings in the ‘70’s. I then realized that a woman had never walked on the Moon. All of the Apollo astronauts were men. At the time I thought that the issue would probably make a good book. I looked up the issue on Google and found that indeed no woman had ever walked on the Moon. I was then inspired.
DeeSWhite: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
My book is a story of a Jewish woman who pursues a cure for the Ebola Virus, becoming involved in thwarting the North Korean demand to grab the Moon with her skill.
DeeSWhite: Why this subject matter…why now?
There are two themes in Kafira. One is the fact that North Korea is a closed society and in the period of my writing the book, was led by Kim Il Sung. The desire by him to take over the Moon for North Korea was one of his more fanatical schemes. The second is the dedication of a young woman to pursue a cure for an Hemorrhagic virus that is probably the most deadly virus on Earth.
DeeSWhite: I believe that every author infuses his or her book(s) with a piece of himself or herself. What piece of you would you say resides within the pages of your book?
I served in the Australian High Commission in London as the Submarine Staff Officer for a number of Years, and became very familiar with the machinations of the UN Security Council. Lord James Halliday is perhaps the closest that he would come to being a piece of John O’Neill and his life.
DeeSWhite: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?
Since it has been published as an eBook, I believe that I could have written more, but I found that if I didn’t stop thinking about writing more, it would never be finished.
DeeSWhite: What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
That I enjoy writing, but perhaps even more important, I found that I had the patience to see it through to the end.
DeeSWhite: Patience is good. How did you come up with the title?
Kafira is a Jewish girls’ name and the essential elements of the first Part is based in Israel. Her name in Hebrew means “Young Lioness” which I thought was appropriate given the trials and tribulations that she goes through.
DeeSWhite: Nice. Who designed the cover?
I described what I wanted to Booktango and sent a composite of the Moon and the Title. Booktango inserted the woman.
DeeSWhite: How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My wife and I had dinner to celebrate the first advised sale. I also needed to thank her for her patience and willingness to proof read the Chapters over and over.
DeeSWhite: If readers get nothing else from your book, what is the one takeaway that you hope they do not miss?
That the reader feels the strength of Kafira in a not unbelievable environment. I would like to think that the reader follows her with admiration for what she does in the face of dire circumstances.
DeeSWhite: Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I have been amazed, and at times overwhelmed, at the depth of sincerity of my immediate family and friends in their congratulations on being published. I didn’t expect it.
DeeSWhite: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
David Baker, who was my proof reader. His forensic efforts were honest and critical when I needed to be told that it was rubbish.
DeeSWhite: What would equate success for you, with regards to the release of this title?
- Kudos on your writing skills
- Message received by intended audience
- All of the above?
I think they all point to success, but any messages from the intended audience will tell me if I have been appealing and successful.
DeeSWhite: What did you want to be when you grew up…was author on the list?
Being an Author was certainly not on my list. I wanted to join the Navy, which I did, and served for 29 years as a Submarine Engineering Officer. Serving in a Submarine is an experience in itself and provided more than my share of excitement. Writing this story was also exciting and I enjoyed it.
DeeSWhite: Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Yes. I am writing my second Book with the working title of “The Two Crowns.” This is a story of the Crown of Thorns that was jammed on the Lord Jesus Christ’s head at his crucifixion. My story will assert that the Crown of Thorns in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, is a fake.
DeeSWhite: What piece of advice would you give to first time authors?
Don’t think about writing a Book, just do it! Once I started writing, I found that the ideas just presented themselves.
DeeSWhite: Is there any piece of advice you would like to ask from any of our veteran authors who may stop by?
I am not sure. I would certainly like an Author to read my book then discuss it with me.
DeeSWhite: Since we are in the season of thankfulness, what are you most thankful for?
My health. I am 71 years old and still in good health. I hope to remain that way for many years to come. I am also thankful that I have a wonderful woman by my side who loves me.
DeeSWhite: Awww. What book are you reading now?
I’m not. I found that while I was writing, reading a book was quite distracting.
DeeSWhite: If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
- A box of 2H pencils to be able to write a diary.
- A Strong Magnifying Glass to provide the means to start a fire, and
- A packet of tomato seeds to feed myself (My iPad as well)
DeeSWhite: If you could jump into a book and live in that world… which would it be?
“The Three Musketeers.” I am a sucker for the days of Honor, Chivalry, Loyalty and passionate lives.
DeeSWhite: I loved The Three Musketeers but I don’t think they would have appreciated me wanting to be one of them instead of wearing a corset and hoops.
I play the Guitar-badly, and I try to sing!
DeeSWhite: Me too! (but I can actually sing) Favorite Candy?
Any sort of dark chocolate
DeeSWhite: Favorite smell?
DeeSWhite: Awww. Favorite scripture/quote?
“Never give up!”
DeeSWhite: Pet peeve?
I get extremely peeved when my computer crashes!
DeeSWhite: Me too! Guilty Pleasure?
When I can beat my granddaughter at chess. She beats me most of the time.
DeeSWhite: TV or Movies?
DeeSWhite: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
Happy holidays with my family
DeeSWhite: Coke or Pepsi?
DeeSWhite: What was your favorite children’s book?
I really can’t remember. I just read what I could.
DeeSWhite: What book(s) has most influenced your life?
“The Cruel Sea” by Nicolas Monsarrat
DeeSWhite: How do you react to a bad review?
Philosophically. You can’t please all the people.
DeeSWhite: Well said! If you were a super hero what would your superpower be?
Being able to heal people.
DeeSWhite: Nice! If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
A threat to the life of my family
DeeSWhite: You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
A diamond ring for my wife.
DeeSWhite: Awwww. Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t really know. Maybe after the second book I will be able to say.
DeeSWhite: Which authors have influenced you most and how?
Bryce Courtney. He has the gift of story telling
DeeSWhite: Do you see writing as a career?
Not at the moment. I just enjoy writing.
DeeSWhite: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I didn’t travel anywhere to research Kafira. I also spoke to doctors and detectives.
DeeSWhite: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
DeeSWhite: What’s your favorite season/weather?
DeeSWhite: What do you do in your free time?
It used to be working with my Computer, it is now writing books!
DeeSWhite: Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
From the moment I wake up I am in a routine through to breakfast, then depending what has been arranged the previous day, drive to work. I work in a Government Agency where I am a Project Manager. This means attending meetings, writing reports, development of policy or procedural documents, having coffee with my colleagues, supervising the work of my staff. Driving home, greeting my wife, having the evening meal either at home or out at our favorite restaurant. I then spend a few hours on my book before going to bed.
DeeSWhite: In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
I don’t think that co-authoring would appeal to me.
DeeSWhite: If you had to choose, which author would you consider a mentor?
DeeSWhite: If you got a TV/movie deal for your book, what would the names in your cast line up look like?
Kafira Rachel Weisz
Lord James Halliday Sir Anthony Hopkins
Charles Edmonds Hugh Jackman
DeeSWhite: I’m not quite sure who Rachel Weisz is but I love the other two. I would definitely want to see that TV/movie!
In the 1999 film, The Matrix, the main character Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The blue pill would allow him to remain in the fabricated reality of the Matrix. The red pill would lead to his escape from the Matrix and into the “real world”. If you were given such a choice, which pill would you choose and why?
The RED Pill because I am a practical person and am comfortable in Nature
DeeSWhite: Me too! Do you have anything specific that you wish to say to your readers?
Please enjoy the story that I have written as much as I did writing it.
I am sure that many of us will John. Thanks for writing it and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us here at DeeSWhite.com.