by Sean Adelman
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Our intellect directs us. Our humanity defines us.
What if the key to unlocking our genetic code and our future lay within some of our most disenfranchised individuals? Would we still shun them?
Seattle in the year 2330: centuries of conflict have led to this precipice. If the world is to move forward, Olivay has the difficult task of teaching Alucia her history. Olivay knows that without understanding where she came from Alucia will never be able to help humanity explore the universe.
In present day Seattle, Jason Roy is a scientist whose life revolves around his daughter, Lily. Within her genome lies a secret that Jason has dedicated himself to uncovering. The mundane life of a scientist and his family takes a turn when a multinational corporation decides Jason Roy’s research is a danger to them.
Jason and Lily are now running away from an unforeseen enemy and toward a discovery that will change mankind. Altering the world may come too late for Jason to save what matters most in his own world.
The great irony of unlocking our genetic potential was finding that our greatness was found in our love for one another.
Jason left the car in the driveway while Lily gathered up the goodies. They carefully walked up the block past the neighbor’s car. The brisk morning was shaping up to be a spectacular day. As they turned left walking around the block toward the park, Jason noticed that the other car was gone. Lily reached up and took hold of Jason’s hand. It was such a natural thing; her hand fit so easily into his. They had done it so often it was almost impossible not to hold her hand. On those rare occasions when he walked this route alone, he felt naked and often reached into space for that little hand and then laughed when it wasn’t there.
It was at these times that Jason would ponder what was really important. The touch of his little girl’s hand was more powerful than any drug. He had spent the last ten years watching her grow, laugh, and learn. She had a boundless ability to love and be happy, she was always excited to go to school, and she never missed an opportunity to make a new friend. What was it inside her that seemed to be able to turn on the lights in his world? What kind of world would it be if everyone embraced life like that?
They walked past the tower at the entrance to Volunteer Park and found a small table next to a large piece of art that overlooked the Puget Sound. The view today was beautiful, and the park would soon be full. The sculpture was a large irregular stone with a hole in the center that you could look through and see the Space Needle. Jason turned to see Lily devouring her tart. Red fruit dotted her face, and sugar coated her chin. Without thinking, Jason reached out to wipe off her face. He knew that someday she would have to learn to do it on her own. But not today.
With breakfast over, they packed up their garbage and headed back to the house.
“Daddy, can I have a sleepover with Jessica tonight? She asked me at school yesterday.”
“Sorry sweetheart, but I have to be on TV tonight. Maybe tomorrow. I was going to bring you with me to the TV station though.”
“Promise you will call Jessica’s mom, promise, promise!”
“Okay, okay. Let’s get home. I need you to help me pick out my clothes.”
“Daddy, you’re a big boy. You should be able to pick your own clothes.”
As soon as they got home, Jason called Jessica’s mom. Having friends over was a part of growing up, and despite how loving and loyal Lily was, not many kids wanted her over. She talked a little different, looked just a little different.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Sean Adelman author of Trispero.
Hi Sean, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Thanks, I am a father of three, Brenna who is twenty, Devon who is 18, and Ian our only boy who is 13. I am an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery.
What were you like at school?
I was a “pain in the butt” class clown who split my time between being a jock and a nerd. I loved sports, but couldn’t get enough science and science fiction to keep me satisfied.
Were you good at English?
I was ok at English but it wasn’t my first love in school.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My writing career is more focused on the message I am trying to send then my own real success. I know that sounds corny, but what I mean is that I want as many people as possible to hear my message and get a chance to think about it.
Which writers inspire you?
My favorite writer is J.K. Rowling. Partly because I love Harry Potter, but really because Harry Potter was the first book I could get my oldest daughter to read. It was the absolute beginning of her love affair with books. When we finished that series as a family is was like saying good bye to a loved one. To be able to pull someone into such an amazing story and believe in something is my dream. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for J.K. Rowling for that gift. There are many authors that I love but my family means the world to me.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Jason is the main character, and what makes him special is his love for his daughter. Jason will stop at nothing to support Lily. Jason is a brilliant scientist, but it is his love for Lily that allows him to see her possibilities.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now I am working on building a wagon for my bike to carry our stand up paddle boards. In terms of writing, I am working out ideas for a graphic novel to represent kids with different abilities.
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from Trispero?
My choice would be Matthew McConaughey, to play Jason. His role in Interstellar just hit home. I enjoy a lot of what he has done, but that unbelievable drive he had for his daughter, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
I often ask myself, how did an orthopedic surgeon in the middle of his career decide he wanted to start writing? For that to make sense you need to know that the most important thing to me is my family. I have a beautiful wife and three children two girls twenty and eighteen and my youngest is a boy who just turned thirteen. My kids are all amazing in their own ways, one of the things that makes my middle daughter, Devon, special is that she has Down syndrome. My wife and I always treated Devon like our other children, she went to the same school, same sports, and same activities. This was just the norm for us, but as Devon got older people around us began to doubt and assume there were things she couldn’t do, when we knew she could. As Devon started medical school this frustration became more intense so that I needed to let everyone know what she was capable of. There were lots of book about what to expect and factual nonfiction. I wanted to write something that was fun to read, but inspirational. I knew that writing could be my tool to get my message about raising expectations and inclusion out to people.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I wish I had a special time to write. I typically keep my iPad with me at all times that way whenever I have a few minutes I can do some writing. My career as an orthopedic surgeon and dad doesn’t leave me a lot of time so I have to use what I can. I love writing so, for me, it’s really a release. When I am in surgery I can write between cases, and I often write in the evening when the kids have gone to bed. Now that they are older they go to bed after me, so just late evenings when they get bored of hanging out with me. I take great care not to sacrifice my time with them.
Where do your ideas come from?
The actual idea for this novel came after a discussion with my neighbor who is on the board of our local cancer research institute about some new genetic therapies to cure cancer. My knowledge of the genetics of Down syndrome quickly snowballed into a story, three years later, here we are. Most of my idea come from me seeing situations in my family’s life and asking, what if? Then I get to build the answer in my head that leads to a story.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I would love the time to get the plot completely outlines and all the characters at least thought out, but the reality is that it never works out that way. Time limitations and just the flow of the writing process forces me to have a little more flow. I typically will have a rough outline of the plots and let things go from there. A lot of my “writing” actually happens in my head as I love to think about the storyline when I go for walks or paddle board.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me it’s two things, one is time. I would love more time to write. The second is getting people to believe in me and the message I am sending. No matter how much you want something sometimes you need help, which is why I am very grateful for Room with Books to give me this opportunity.
Do you read much and who are your favorite authors?
I love reading, most of the time my reading is just for fun since my work reading is so intense. I love David Baldacci and Clive Cussler for fun reads. One of my favorite recent reads was Ernest Cline’s Ready Player one.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I am honestly old school I still buy books. I appreciate books very much, but I can’t resist having it in my hand there is just something I find comforting about holding a book in my hands.
What book are you reading at present?
I am currently reading The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert. I am only half way through.
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
The cover is a scene involving two of the main characters from Trispero, Jason and Lily. It’s not a specific scene from the story but more a representation of their journey through the story. The scene is meant to show Jason’s determination carrying Lily through the storm, but also how utterly dependent he is on her emotionally.
Who designed your book cover?
The cover is by a young New York based illustrator named Benlin Alexander. I loved some of his work because of the way he was able to capture the emotion of a scene. You can paint a beautiful picture that doesn’t necessarily have emotion. Benlin has a gift of being able to truly make his characters emote. I portrayed a scene with descriptions of the characters and he captured it. You can feel the love and determination of Jason as he walks carrying his beautiful girl.
Do you have a trailer?
I would love to do a trailer, but am still working on that one.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I do think give always help. It lowers the threshold for people to try your book, it gets the ball rolling so to speak.
How do you relax?
My favorite way to relax is go stand up paddle boarding with my lovely wife. Yesterday was a particularly beautiful day in Seattle, where we went out on Lake Washington and paddled into the mild wind. We then just laid on our boards and let the current carry us back, that was relaxing.
What is your favorite quote?
“We must all make the choice between what is right and what is easy.” Albus Dumbledore
“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Albus Dumbledore
What is your favorite movie?
I have so many it’s hard to pick. I loved Lord of the Rings that was one movie that really lived up to my expectation from the book. If I had to pick one, it would be Mulan. I know that sounds silly, but as a dad with two daughters, who were young at the time, I wanted to believe that my daughters could grow up and save China!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
The best way to discover more about me and my family is to visit our website RaiseExpectations.com and follow Raise Expectations on Facebook.
Any final words?
When you read Trispero, I want you to remember that it is the message of a dad writing about his love for his daughter and how that can save the world.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you a little bit more.
Sean Adelman is a practicing orthopedic surgeon in Seattle. When he isn’t working hard to put people back together he enjoys writing, running, and attempting to play his electric guitar without frightening his two dogs, Chestnut and Orion. Sean has three children Brenna, Devon, and Ian with his wife of 25 years Susan.
Advocating for people with developmental disabilities is his life’s passion and his inspiration for the middle grade book series, Sam’s Top Secret Journal, and now his first adult novel, Trispero.
Join Sean on Facebook for book giveaways, events, and news on Sam’s Secret Journal and Trispero at https://www.facebook.com/SamsTopSecretJournal or visit his website at http://www.raiseexpectations.com/.
Sean Adelman will be awarding a paperback copy of Trispero to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.