Hello awesome readers. Today we have a guest post by author Dave Wickenden who writes dark thrillers on unique topics that not everyone is willing to tackle. I asked him to share the inspiration for his latest novel, Mad Dog. Enjoy the following guest post by Dave Wickenden.
The inspiration for my latest novel, Mad Dog, came from my love of the movie, Stand by Me, which was adapted from a short story by Stephen King, titled The Body. I wanted to create a sense of nostalgia in my story that tells of a simpler time and how being a kid in the 70s was exciting and carefree. This was a time before the internet and on-line gaming. There was media, but not the kind that bombards our society as it does today. The war in Vietnam had just finished, but from a child’s point of view, it meant little. Our heroes were John Wayne, Bobby Orr and Andre, the Giant.
I also wanted to write a story set in my own home town. The setting is exactly as described. The entire landscape around our city was black, acid-stained rock, a leftover of early smelting process techniques that would see every tree in the area cut down to fuel the fires that were needed to extract the nickel and copper out of the base rock. Only in the low-lying areas and around waterways was there any vegetation.
The transformation of my city started in the 70s, which saw a major re-greening innovative. Now, there is very little black rock and the mountains around the area, teem with new forests. With new smelting processes, over 90% of the sulfuric acid is captured to be sold rather than allowed to escape into the environment. Even the slag dump has been covered with topsoil and seeded.
Research for the story was almost non-existent. All I did was take a walk in the old neighborhood and the memories and the creative juices began to flow. All the settings are real, even though some no longer exist. Copper St. no longer ends with a bush lot but extends between the mountains to Kelly Lake Rd. Banana Pond is now part of a neighborhood playground. The ball field behind Martindale Public School is now a storage area for an industrial rubber plant that services the mines. The pit where I swam as a kid is still there, but a highway passes beside it. In real life, there had been a stabbing and several drowning at the pit. Even the building that my antagonist, Daniel hides out on is still there but is no longer a marble sculpting business.
I developed the characters by “borrowing” unique traits from people I had known and either downplayed or exaggerated those traits. As with kids everywhere, we had so many personalities that each of my characters should remind you of someone you grew up with. In truth, my father was a firefighter for 32 years and I did have a dog named Patches.
As for the initial plot concerning the killing of animals stemmed from a news article dealing with animal activists. Most of my stories deal with subjects that no one likes to talk about because it’s disturbing. My Laura Amour series (In Defense of Innocence and Deadly Harvest) deals with child exploitation while Homegrown explores how ISIS could radicalize many recruits worldwide to feed their armies. Although I condemn harming an animal, I do have an issue with some of these groups who put more value on pets than people.
Each story may come from an original source, but I hope that readers find them as exciting as I do. I am a Pantser, which means I write from the seat of my pants, rather than a Planner who outlines their entire story before writing the first word. There’s nothing wrong with either or even a hybrid of the two. It’s what works for me. While writing, my characters do things that come to me as a surprise and I am entertained as much as the reader.
If you have read my novels and enjoyed them, please tell me what you thought of the story by leaving a review on Goodreads or wherever you purchased the book. Reviews are gold to authors. You can also reach out to me through my website at https://davewickenden.wixsite.com/dave-wickenden-
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