Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Emerald Cancer- what a wild ride!

I just finished reading 'The Emerald Cancer' and I'm still catching my breathe. This book was a thriller that keeps you guessing all the way to the end. But more importantly- for me at least- was the message that is revealed throughout the journey, becoming crystal clear at the end.

You quickly find yourself inside the heads of terrorists and the people who fight terror. Sometimes the lines become blurred and you wonder if they are all terrorists- in their own way. The main characters are involved in the IRA and UK security services. However, you get a glimpse inside the people involved in the PLO and the Israeli conflicts. I have to say- it's not for the faint of heart.

In order to understand the making of a terrorist, you have to look at the experiences of their lives. In most cases this extreme hatred is born of violence and the subsequent drive for revenge. Mr. Hulme shows you these scenes, sometimes in painful detail. But this tells me that the writer has done his job.

You are introduced to these characters and come to know them intimately. As you follow their lives it becomes clear what led them along their path. You begin to understand their actions and reactions. You may cringe at some of the ugliness and violence, but you cannot look away. You will be sickened by the depravity, cruelty and the incident of bestiality. But at that point you will be so immersed that you will find yourself wanting revenge and cheering when it happens. And you will know, in the back of your mind, that although this is a work of fiction, much of it is closer to the truth than you might like.

And in the end, you realize that even bitter enemies have a common thread. 

Sometimes people become so caught up in the hatred and revenge; they fail to see the real enemy.

Interview with the author, David Hulme

David your book was extremely well written. I couldn't believe you wrote it when you were only 23 years old ! How did you become so skilled at such a young age?

As a young police officer I was asked to interview a 67 year old man about a car accident. He was called Eric Young, to whom this book is dedicated.  He was a very interesting man, an American who had stowed away on a boat from New York at the age of 15 to come and fight for England in World War 2.  He had masses of life experience which I, of course, lacked. Although four years policing had made me grow up extremely quickly.  I told him I had written a book and he offered to read it and give me some constructive criticism.  After reading “my book” Eric told me that I only had a draft with cardboard cutout characters that needed fleshing out.  He offered to read everything I re-wrote and help with the editing process.  I still remember him saying, “Go away and re-write the first three chapters, make me feel for the characters, and prove to me that you can write and then I will help you.”  I listened to his advice, went home and completed the re-write as he had suggested.  Eric insisted that every chapter I wrote needed to be a story in its own right and that he should be able to pick up my chapters like a deck of cards, shuffle them and still read the book and understand the story.  He was also very particular about the motivation behind the characters actions which you spoke about in your review.  I remember him saying that you have to be a particular type of person to be able to kill another human being and you need to explain to your readers what has made your characters able to do such horrible things.  And so began a short but wonderful friendship/ mentorship which only ended when Eric died.  Unfortunately, he never got to see the finished product as he died with the book only half written.  What he had done though was equip me with the writing skills necessary to finish the book.

Mr. Young would be very proud of you. You were able to accomplish each & every objective.
David, does this story have any connection to you, personally?

As a young man I was very limited in terms of finances to travel to exotic places to create an international story so I decided to use what I knew, places and people, to write my thriller.  I was fortunate, in that as a police officer I was always meeting different people, larger than life characters, who made great material for the author’s mill.  It enabled me to write about real people and places in a fictional context.  The mortuary scene is based on real life experiences and of course, I have encountered my fair share of death and dying which although not a pleasant experience, does add to the authenticity. 

I can speak confidently when I say that most people who read this will be begging for a sequel. Is there one in the works?

The short answer is yes, definitely, I’m working on it as we speak and really looking to explore further the strange relationship between Siobhan and Patrick.  I think it is important to explain to your readers and my potential readers why it has taken 23 years for me to write a second thriller.  I was absolutely, totally absorbed, addicted to writing when I wrote The Emerald Cancer but traditional publishers, although making very complimentary comments, were not prepared to take a risk with a new author in the early 90’s.  I also had two children under 3 and felt that after two years typing in the bedroom and two years of trying to get it published, it was time for me to give some attention and support to my wife and children and concentrate on my career in the police.  I kept my manuscript through the intervening years always promising to return to it at some point in the future.  Last September I inadvertently stumbled across the kindle self publishing link on Amazon which re-awakened my interests in The Emerald Cancer and see it published today.

I'm delighted to hear that we can watch for the sequel.  I can only imagine the future interaction between Siobhan and Patrick. And I can speak for all of your fans, present and future, when I say that I'm so glad that you came upon Kindle!

Thanks you so much.

You can find 'The Emerald Cancer' here. You can follow David Hulme on Twitter here.


Gary Gauthier said...

Thanks for introducing this wonderful author and a wonderful book Kathleen. You've just forced me to put it on my 'to-be-read' list.

Kathleen Patel said...

I think you're going to enjoy the book. It's hard to put down : )

Emmie said...

Wow, at first I was sure if this was going to be something I would be interested in reading, but once I read your review, I thought 'Wow I can see myself reading this' thank you for sharing this. I look forward to visiting more often.

By the way, I tried to leave other forms of url, but I wouldn't let me, so I had to leave a livejournal, is there anyway to be able to allow us to leave reg URL's to regular domains? Just wondering, thank you