A Darker Rain
by Claudine Kapel
“It’s definitely not a good time to be going into the woods of Hawkley Ridge.”
When a red-eyed wildcat starts threatening ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan Cole recognizes the danger is far more menacing than the ranchers realize. Cole specializes in tackling unconventional security threats, particularly those with alien origins.
His investigation puts him in the crosshairs of Antoine Drake, an international arms dealer with a penchant for weapons from other worlds. Both men are hot on the trail of powerful alien artifacts known as guardian stones.
Cole and his team of investigators embark on a dangerous quest to recover the guardian stones before they can be assembled into the ultimate alien weapon. To succeed, Cole must also decipher the wildcat’s deadly secrets.
But in the woods of Hawkley Ridge, it’s easy for the hunter to become the prey.
A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series.
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Beecham exhaled sharply. “Antoine Drake and Cassandra Chase are ruthless. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. If they’re acquiring both alien weapons and alien allies, that could give them a major military advantage. Who knows how powerful these weapons are or what they can do? We don’t even know how they work.”
“So what did your people learn about the weapons before they were stolen?” asked Cole. “Did Ivan Johnson shed any light on how the sonic rifle works before he was killed?”
Beecham rubbed his eyes wearily. “He didn’t give us a hell of a lot. We tested the alloy the rifles were made of and confirmed there’s no match for such a substance anywhere on Earth. But beyond that, we didn’t learn much.
“We ran a whole battery of tests to see if we could uncover the mechanics of the weapon. But nothing. No one has been able to figure out how the rifles operate. As you can see in the photo—not to mention in the files your buddy Ashcroft downloaded—there’s no visible trigger.”
Beecham looked at Cole, his face etched with deep concern. “We need to get these weapons back. And we need to stop Drake.”
Cole looked at Beecham with a frown. He had heard that refrain before, and it had been a prelude to disaster.
Welcome all. Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Claudine Kapel, author ofA Darker Rain. Hi Claudine, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.
Please tell me about A Darker Rain and what inspired you to write it?
A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series, which chronicles the adventures of Cole and his team of investigators as they tackle unconventional security threats posed by beings and technology from other worlds. Cole is charged with helping to protect Earth from dangerous alien influences and to keep weapons and technology from other worlds from falling into the wrong hands.
I’m a fan of both science fiction and action/adventure novels and had the idea to write a book that blended elements of both. Once I started writing A Darker Rain, the story took on a life of its own, and ultimately unfolded as a series.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I typically start with a foundational story arc and a few pivotal scenes – although the points are mostly in my head. I don’t work with a physical outline.
Once I have a basic storyline mapped out, I follow where the story goes and where the characters lead me, and I’m open to new ideas and directions. To that end, the characters really do help drive how the story unfolds.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
Sure, I have arguments with characters from time to time. Sometimes they win in that they get to say or do certain things that may be different from what I initially had in mind. But I’m also careful to ensure that they stay in harmony with each other as well as “in character” as the story unfolds.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
While A Darker Rain is my first work of fiction, I’ve co-authored two non-fiction books on human resources management. The readers of my HR books might be equally surprised to learn that I also write science fiction.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
I think it would be fun to write a novel with another author and I’m definitely open to that. It would be inspiring and eye-opening to see how another author approaches his or her craft. One of my all-time favorite authors was Robert B. Parker. If he were still with us, I would have loved to collaborate with him.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
When I was a child I dreamed of being a writer. I think in part it was because I loved books and was constantly reading. But I’ve also always loved to write. Even as a child I wrote short stories, poetry, and songs.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
Writing has always been a part of my life, both personally and professionally. I started my career as a journalist before moving into corporate communications and then consulting. I’ve always had some sort of writing project on the go.
Although my first published works were non-fiction, I’m now more focused on writing novels. This has always been an area of interest, and one that I’ve devoted more time to in recent years. I have a lot of ideas and stories seeking to be expressed, and characters that are impatiently waiting to come to life.
What music inspires your writing?
I listen to a variety of music when I’m writing. I often have instrumental music playing while I work. I have a wide assortment of classical and new age music, which I have playing in the background as I write.
Sometimes I look for specific songs with a particular theme to help me clarify the mood or details in a given scene. I keep a playlist of songs that directly relate to scenes in the book. It’s like the book’s soundtrack. For example, the book is set in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where it rains quite a bit. So the playlist includes songs about rain.
Favorite breakfast? French toast with real maple syrup and a side of bacon
Favorite color? Purple
Favorite movie? I don’t have a single, overall favorite, but a few that I’ve really liked include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption, and the original Airplane.
Dream car? Silver Audi TT (although to have one, I would need to learn to drive a stick shift)
A Darker Rain is Claudine Kapel’s first novel. She lives in Toronto and enjoys books, music, and travel. When not working as a consultant, she can be found writing, reading, or contemplating what else may be out there.
The second book in the Ryan Cole series is planned for release in 2014.
Claudine loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at www.claudinekapel.com.
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