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April 10, 2013

Paul Landes: Faction - the New Fiction

One of the things I’ve personally enjoyed about reading fiction is to see the different ways certain authors had taken real events and neatly woven them into a tale of fiction. When I stared out writing Wings to Redemption I wanted every single event to rest comfortably on a factual premise. This is what I refer to as “Faction.”

I went to painstaking lengths to make sure Wings to Redemption met the true definition of Faction. Every location in the book was either visited by me or I had lengthy discussions with people who were intimately familiar with the location. I relied very heavily on one friend, Dr. Murray Gardner from UC Davis, who helped me create a genetically engineered virus that is not quite feasible today, but it definitely borders on the edge of reality. This was all fairly complex stuff and the challenge was to be able to write and describe the development of this virus in such a way that it was technically correct, but understandable by the lay person. I think I achieved that based on the feedback I have received so far.

In my earlier research I came upon a government agency called DARPA, which stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It’s part of the U.S. Department of Defense and I refer to it in my story as the Defense Department’s intellectual sandbox for depraved minds. It’s an agency with little or no project oversight so it made sense to use DARPA as the creator of the virus. It’s not unheard of for research to go off stream and end up with an entirely different result and that’s what happens here. In this case, DARPA was undertaking research to control the flight of mosquitoes so they could use them as the vector to deliver vaccines, or more likely something far more heinous. DARPA is actually doing that research today, but I took it further and used the mosquitoes to deliver a genetically engineered virus that could target a specific class of people. It turns out the people behind all this actually had even more sinister uses in mind for the virus, but that’s all a part of the story so I can’t reveal that here.

The sequel to Wings to Redemption will be out this summer and the research that has gone into this yet unnamed book has been voluminous. I’ve always been intrigued by Antarctica, but not for the reasons most would suspect. It’s cold, it’s dry and it has the highest average elevation out of the seven continents. But, the lore surrounding the many hidden secrets of this continent have, as yet, neither been proven nor disproven. It’s an untapped resource for factional writers. Did you know there’s a theory that both the North and South Poles have a ‘polar hole ’where zero gravity exists? Imagine the possibilities this could have for the rapidly expanding field of Epigenetics!

About the Author:

Father of two, husband to one and the proud half-owner of three loyal dogs.​

I have traveled and maneuvered through the corporate world as an executive, real estate developer and consultant. Along the way I encountered some successes and some failures, but all-in-all, I have gained life experiences that serve me well today. I guess I became a full-time author in August, 2011. I was searching for something meaningful to do when I re-opened the story that Kristen and I started together so many years ago. Since then, I have been writing, writing and writing.​

I have always been and will continue to be a true adventurer, seeking new ideas, new places to visit and new goals to conquer. I can be spotted swimming in lakes and rivers and I am usually accompanied by my faithful Ridgeback when hiking the mountains or fishing its streams.​

I am now spending my time secluded in a house on the North Coast writing the second novel in the Alex Boudreau Adventure Series.
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