Today I'm happy to introduce Stephen Tremp, the author of the action novel Breakthrough, the first book in a Chase Manhattan trilogy. I first met Stephen (a virtual meeting) almost eighteen months ago when we were both students in Dani Greer's online blog book tour class. Since then we've read each other's books, left comments on each other's blogs, and followed along as we wrote ( or didn't write), suffered through revisions, and learned more and more about this world of meeting folks through social media.
It's my pleasure to have Stephen here today to tell us how he became a writer and how the idea for Breakthrough came to be.
My Journey as a Writer by Stephen Tremp
I remember as a kid staring out the window while the teachers were talking. I imagined battles of epic proportions between good and evil playing out in the schoolyard. Could be an alien invasion, or mole people climbing out of the ground, or giant Titans locked in battle. I guess I’ve always had a vivid imagination.
My Younger Years: I loved to read most anything. I read Marvel comic books. I think this helped develop my imagination for developing fascinating plots and interesting characters that go far beyond mainstream media. The characters are so diverse, each possessing their own distinct personalities and demonstrating unique conflicts and shortcomings. Many had two personalities, one behind the mask they wore and one for their normal, non-super hero life. Hence the internal and external conflicts writers could use to develop new twists and turns in the plots.
But these characters all have one common thread: they are overcomers, even in failure. Somehow they need to go beyond their super abilities and rely on something deep down inside their soul or the help of friends to escape danger and save the day. I develop my characters in similar fashion.
How I Got Started Writing: I’ve always written short stories going back to elementary school. I took writing classes at a local community college. And I had to research and write countless papers for my undergraduate and graduate studies. After toiling over 10 years in the banking and finance industry, I accepted a voluntary layoff and took advantage of the opportunity to write full-time. I told myself I needed a serious break from the corporate world and that I needed to do what I always wanted: write an action thriller book.
What Inspired Me to Write Breakthrough: A superabundance of breakthroughs in physics are broadcast into millions of homes via numerous cable channels in simple language and computer graphics anyone can understand. I thought I would capitalize on this particular niche and incorporate them into an action thriller series weaving together breakthroughs in physics and technology with greed, murder, and mayhem. Will these breakthroughs benefit mankind and be used to further civilization, or will they be stolen and used for greedy gain? I think we know the answer. That’s why the world needs a hero like my protagonist: Chase Manhattan.
How I Decided On My Story Angle: According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, traveling through time is not a practical idea. However, discovering “shortcuts” that allow people to travel through space is a possibility. Many governments, militaries, colleges, as well as private and public companies have committed enormous resources in an attempt to discover this breakthrough.
With scientific knowledge growing at breakneck speed and the global geopolitical scene changing as quickly as it has been, I thought using these two ideas as a backdrop for Breakthrough would make for an exciting and ultimately terrifying trilogy (with a happy ending, of course).
I’ve always had an interest in writing: I love to write and tell a really good story. I have always had a passion vented deep within my soul to write action-suspense thrillers. My goal is to keep the reader staying up well past their normal bedtime or interfere with their daily routine by putting off tasks they need to accomplish in order to finish just one more chapter.
I love mixing an elixir of science and the supernatural, but within a plot that is not only believable but also plausible. Breakthrough is a realistic science fiction set in today’s everyday world we live and breathe in. It is not set in the future. There is no time travel. There are no men with pointy ears. Breakthrough is an action-suspense thriller that could very well happen today.
Are your characters based on yourself or anyone else you know?: The protagonist, Chase Manhattan is loosely based on me, only he’s a little bit taller than I am, a little bit better looking, a little faster, stronger, smarter, and much richer. The rest of the good guys (and girls) and bad guys (and girls) are partially made up and partially based on people I’ve known throughout my life.
Please join me tomorrow as I visit Laura Eno at A Shift in Dimensions as we talk about Developing Characters With Character.
Stephen Tremp is author of the action thriller Breakthrough. To learn more about Stephen and his work (and read some great blog posts), visit him at Breakthrough Blogs. His complete virtual book tour schedule is available when you scroll down the Events page on his blog.