Monday, October 5, 2015

PUYB Chats with Christopher Keating, author of 'That Which Maddens and Torments"



Chris Keating had his first story published when he was just seven years old and in second grade. He has been writing both fiction and nonfiction ever since.

He wrote his first book, Dialogues on 2012: Why the World Will Not End, while he was a professor of physics at the U.S Naval Academy. He was inspired to write it because of continually being questioned on all walks of life about the myth the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 according to the Mayan calendar.

After the world didn’t end, Chris decided to tackle the controversial topic of climate change by writing Undeniable! Dialogues on Global Warming, which was published in 2014. He also began the online Global Warming Skeptic Challenge, offering $10,000 to the first person who could prove the fallacy of global warming. His challenge quickly went viral and Chris spent his entire summer that year responding to submissions. He later published a compilation of the submissions and his responses, which can be purchased at Amazon.com or downloaded as a free PDF at ChrisKeatingAuthor.com. Chris also writes the blog, Dialogues on Global Warming, which is devoted to climate change issues.

Chris most recent book is the thriller, That Which Maddens and Torments. It pits an ambitious, hard-hitting young newspaper journalist writing about global warming against villainous denier lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who are working for the fossil fuel industry. At the behest of their clients, the lobbyists will stop at nothing to protect the industry’s profits and to ensure that a scientific study proving the truth of global warming does not become public. Chris hopes that by tackling the issue of global warming via a work of fiction, he will engage a broader cross section of people in the issue.

After successful careers as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy and the Navy Reserve and then as a professor of physics, Chris now lives in the Texas Hill Country, where he continues to focus on climate change research and to write.

For More Information
  • Visit Christopher Keating’s website.
  • Connect with Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Christopher at Goodreads.
  • Visit Christopher’s blog.
About the Book:

With the encouragement of her uncle, a retired professor of geophysics, Josephine Black, a recent college graduate, begins reporting on the issue of climate change for a major New York City newspaper. She quickly discovers that she has a passion for the subject and a talent for investigative
journalism.

It’s not long before Jo’s hard-hitting articles are being noticed. However, leaders within the powerful fossil fuel industry don’t like what they are reading. They believe that the information in Jo’s articles could threaten their profits eventually, and they are also concerned that Jo will uncover a scientific report written by a friend of her uncle’s that proves the truth about global warming. The industry’s leaders are ruthless and are willing to stop at nothing to silence Jo and protect their profits.
Soon, Jo finds herself caught up in a very dangerous high stakes “cat and mouse game” related to the climate change debate. A game that combines politics and policy brokering at the highest levels of government with criminality. However, Jo is determined to outwit her ruthless enemies no matter what it takes.

Full of twists and turns, That Which Maddens and Torments is an entertaining, page-turning read. However, it also provides readers with insights into the debate surrounding the issue of global warming and helps to explain the motivation behind many of the global warming skeptics or deniers we read about or see on TV.

For More Information

  • That Which Maddens and Torments is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Thanks for joining us at the club today, Christopher!  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started writing for the suspense thriller genre? 

Christopher: I started writing fiction when I was a boy and wrote stories whenever I could. Life got in the way, as it frequently does, and I wasn’t able to devote myself to getting published until the last few years. I published some non-fiction books and decided it was time to devote myself to the fiction stories that were working in my mind. 

Climate change seems to be a passion for you.  Can you tell us how you got interested and what you’ve done toward bringing this issue out in the open? 

Christopher: I’m a professor of physics and have been involved with climate change, at some level, for about 35 years. I do research in planetary geophysics, including space science and climate change. I wrote a book on global warming and issued the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. This provided me with an in-depth view of just how nasty the people working to convince people climate change isn’t real are. When I needed a villain for my book, it was easy to find them. Many of the events and people in this book are inspired by real people and events.

That Which Maddens and Torments, your latest book, focuses on global warming which should be everyone’s concern these days.  How does your book tackle the issue?

Christopher: While it is a fictional story, the background is real. I could have written this story using some other kind of villain, but using climate change denial lobbyists allowed me to use actual events for the inspiration. I think many people will be incredulous this kind of stuff is actually going on. But, the best stories stay close to reality.

Can you tell us more about Josephine Black, the main character of your book?

Christopher: She is the modern version of Captain Ahab. She sinks into insanity and obsession and is willing to sacrifice herself and others around her to take down her enemies.

Can you tell us a little about the main supporting characters?

Christopher: The principle supporting character is Bennett Mills, a congressional aide who becomes her love interest. Two other important characters are a team of hired killers who pursue her. One is merely a psychopath who feels no empathy for others. But, I feel his assistant is the most evil person in the book. He does what he does for the money, even though he knows it’s wrong. His conscious tells him not to do it, but he does anyway.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader can’t put the book down.  What’s one of the pivotal points in That Which Maddens and Torments?

Christopher: Jo Black has a serious accident as a result of a harassment campaign. This is the wake-up call for her, when she realizes she is in a fight for her life. This is where she starts turning from being the hunted into the hunter. After this point, they can’t intimidate her anymore.

What’s next for you, Christopher?

Christopher: I’m writing Purple Legion, a story about the unexpected consequences of our actions. It is both a quirky, light-hearted story and a touching story of people’s lives and how we treat each other.

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