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Guest Post & Giveaway: Mulling Over It – Writing Platform 21 by T. R. Patrick

Platform 21 by T.R. Patrick is the first book in the Beyond the Veil science fiction series.  Today, T.R. Patrick, who received the “Best Debut Author of 2013” award from the Bookworm Best Awards, will share a little bit about the creation of his book.  And there’s a giveaway.

Here’s a little bit about the book:

Luke’s life is about to take a dangerous turn. But first he has to die.

In the year 2052, high school sophomore Luke Gibson considers himself an average teenager in a world on the brink of monumental change. Joining his parents and sister, Laura, at the first World Energy Initiative Conference, he is among thousands gathered in a Denver arena to celebrate free renewable energy when a massive earthquake strikes killing everyone in the stadium. The last thing Luke sees before his death is a girl reaching out to him—a stranger whose face he remembers from his dreams.

The end, however, is not the end. Suddenly, inexplicably, Luke is back home in Ohio and everything is different. His sister is gone, the victim in an unsolved homicide years before. Angela, his mysterious dream girl, is here also, and the only person besides Luke who recalls the previous reality. And now their determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and their transformed world is making them targets—forced to flee for their lives from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as they stand on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind.

Please give Patrick a warm welcome:

Have you ever been so frustrated about something, you needed to find a creative outlet to just get it all out? Writing Platform 21 was a bit like that for me. There are so many things going on in the world, it’s often easier to put it in the back of our minds and just focus on the little things. For whatever reason, I couldn’t do that. There is so much wrong with the world, I wanted to do something – anything to inject a voice a reason into the discussion.

Platform 21 was born from that frustration. The original concept of the book was something so simple, I almost feel a little embarrassed when I think about it. But when I started writing it, things just wouldn’t line up. I knew I was writing one thing, but the story wanted me to write something different. For the first time as a writer, I decided I was going to let the story tell itself. I would simply become the dude lucky enough to be able to write it down. That once embarrassing concept is nothing but a distant memory. It was an idea I’m glad never truly raised to the surface. Instead, I found a world in the shadow of an inexplicable veil that separates humankind from the truth.

If there is one thing constant about each and every one of us, it is the desire for the truth. We’ve seen throughout history how those in power distort and twist the truth. There is a constant struggle for it and humanity has grappled with it since the beginning of time. I believe every one of us desires to do good. We want to see our neighbors succeed as well. Every time a terrible event inflicts harm upon us and our neighbors, there are always good people willing to rise from the ashes and make things right. However, when it comes to the big picture – people just don’t know where the fire is. Some of us feel the fire is simply too big to put out.

So, I set off to write a book about this struggle. Set in a world where every conspiracy theory is real, Luke Gibson and Angela Morgan set off on a journey to discover the truth about Luke’s slain sister. This search for justice is much like our search for the reason why terrible things happen in this world. Luke and Angela’s search for the truth makes them targets of some very powerful enemies. Amidst all the conspiracy, and the lies, they discover anyone could be an enemy. Learning that even people who desire good could work against them, they begin to realize how misled the world has become.

This theme follows Luke throughout his adventure. I’m writing ‘The Vorago Initiative’ (The Sequel to Platform 21) right now, and I find myself thinking about all of those who think they are fighting for truth, or for what’s right – only to discover they’ve been misled all along. How can you discern the truth if you’ve been lied to since the day you were born? What if you don’t like the truth? Is it worth pulling back the veil if it means revealing a world that is nothing like what you once thought? Some would even end up fighting to protect the veil, to continue living the lie because they’ve become comfortable with it. Those who are willing to fight for the truth have their own demons to deal with. Just how much is an individual willing to sacrifice for it? How much would you sacrifice?

It’s difficult to discuss these things without demonstrating what is truly at stake when a person gets close to the truth in a world filled with conspiracy. The general themes of Platform 21 are quite dark, and a very gritty picture is painted. I didn’t want to hide the truth, or pull my punches as an author. It’s simply not fair to the reader when an author hides just how wicked the world can be at times. I stayed hauntingly close to the historical events discussed in the book, all while showing the reader two characters who would stop at nothing to overcome the adversity they faced.

Writing about these themes is tough. I had to write more than my fair share of difficult imagery and depressing moments. There were times I spent many hours staring at a blank screen, afraid to start writing because I knew where it would take me. This is the obstacle I’ve set out to challenge, and with Platform 21, I think I managed to show the brutal truth about our past, present, and potential future.

But you know what? The world ain’t all that bad. The love story in Platform 21 was one of the most enjoyable parts of the writing. Some of my self-proclaimed ‘crowning achievements’ in the book weren’t the fast paced action scenes, or the twists. To me, the book shined because of the characters and how they interacted with each other. There were some extremely tricky topics discussed in Platform 21. I had to imagine how a person would react in the face of one of the most despicable and deplorable acts a person could commit. How would that event change the character, and the existing relationships he or she already had? These were some very tough questions and it isn’t easy, or in my opinion even possible, to just outline this kind of complicated character development. This was the hardest part of the writing, but it was also the most rewarding.

Writing Platform 21 was a challenge. It was the hardest book I ever set out to write. It was also the best book I’ve ever written, which is why I decided to publish it. Having penned two other books, I know what it’s like to write something and realize it isn’t your best. With Platform 21, it just came to me. There isn’t any other way of putting it. I’m the luckiest guy ever! Why this story chose me to share it with the world, I’m not sure. It has been a wonderful joy, and I can’t wait to see where the series takes me next.

About the Author:

Author Timothy R. Patrick, born in 1985, started writing when he was only nine, delivering his first short story to his Mom for her birthday. Since then, writing has been an incredible passion. Every chance he could write, he took it. He even scratched out a few stories in Naval Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Tim spent four years in the Navy achieving the rank of Petty Officer 2nd class. He served three years aboard USS Chosin and was deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terror, and Iraqi Freedom. However, he would always be remembered as the guy who sat in the corner of the mess decks writing a book he would never release. He said it wasn’t good enough.

After his time in the Navy, Tim became a Test Engineer working for companies like Scientific Research Corporation and Hewlett Packard. During this phase of his life he moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he bought a home and tried to settle into the American Dream. But Tim wasn’t content with that, he wanted to do something more than work the 9 to 5. So, he tried his hand at politics and ran for Dorchester County Council as an Independent. They said he was too young and verbose. After losing the election, he decided to try his hand at writing instead.

Today, Timothy Patrick is the author of, Platform 21 – the first installment of the “Beyond the Veil” series. Platform 21 is a novel set in the near future which follows a young man on a journey to solve his sister’s murder in the midst of global conspiracy. His current project is, The Vorago Initiative – which picks up right where Platform 21 left off.

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