Examining preconceived ideas is one of the things Michael Grumley enjoys doing in his writing. For this interview, the action thriller writer talked about the issues he dealt with in his new novel and how society deals with victims.
“Evan After” is a story that Grumley has wanted to write for a long time. He said, “Crime has existed since the beginning of man, but ‘Evan After’ reminds us that some of those crimes bring extraordinary emotional tolls. I was very close to two people which I lost in a murder/suicide. I was profoundly struck at how almost ‘business-like” society can behave at some crimes, and more importantly how quickly society simply forgets and moves on. It’s a part of life to be sure, but tragic just the same. In general though, I think society greatly fails to understand the sheer emotional toll taken on those around the epicenter of the event or crime.”
Grumley also understands that we, as people, tend to filter the world around us. That filtering process helps keep us from suffering sensory overload. “More than anything else, ‘Evan After’ originated from the idea that there is more happening in the world around us than we are able to detect, both good and bad. The kind of preconceived ideas that I tend to write about have a lot to do with our assumptions about the world around us, and perhaps the limits we’ve come to accept as true. Things that we as a race are, and are not, capable of.”
“Things not being detected have to do with our physiological awareness,” said Grumley. “Identical twins can often detect suffering of one another, even when separated by many miles. Some spouses have reported ‘feeling’ when the other was lost. Even animals can detect strange connections, particularly between dogs and their owners. ‘Evan After’ touches on the premise that there is an awful lot happening around us that we either cannot detect, or cannot bring ourselves to believe.”
Armed with an idea about writing a thriller that would incorporate these concepts, Grumley decided to explore the question: If you knew something dangerous that no one else did, how sure are you that you would do the right thing? Especially when at the risk of your own life.
“My first book follows a group of marine biologists who make history by using a supercomputer to successfully translate the language of dolphins. Whether it’s in science, in faith, or in our own bodies innate abilities, my stories tend to ask the proverbial question of what is really possible here.”
For years, Grumley said he dreamed of writing action thrillers the way he thought they should be written—stories with unique plots that move quickly. “You know, for years I’d had ideas that I thought would make good novels, but I sat on them for much too long. Finally, I decided to take the plunge and began writing. I’m grateful to find that my books have really resonated with people.”
Judging by the reviews of “Evan After,” Grumley is correct in his statement that his books have found a solid audience. He also said that he has more ideas of where to take this series. “I think with each new book in the ‘Evan After’ story readers will be pleasantly surprised.”
Book Summary from the author
It began with an accident. It will end in a sacrifice.
Two weeks after his eighteenth birthday, Evan Nash’s life changes forever. When strange problems from an accident drive him to seek help from a skeptical psychiatrist, the full extent of his metamorphosis begins to reveal itself.
But Dr. Shannon Mayer has troubles of her own. Trying hopelessly to cope with a devastating past, one that is slowly destroying her, Mayer now finds herself with nowhere left to turn. Even worse, she soon realizes that Evan is caught in a very real struggle of life and death.
Two battles. Both are losing. Together, they must discover that even in the darkest days, when all seems lost, there always remains a glimmer of hope.
Michael Grumley is currently working on ‘Leap’, which is the sequel to ‘Breakthrough’. Learn more about him on his website at http://www.michaelgrumley.com.