What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?
My main characters are in a lot of trouble and could probably use a miracle! They are facing death threats, mutants, toxic food, and shadowy figures that are controlling world events and the human race. Not to mention deadly pollution of the planet and missile attacks.
What if everything you ever knew was a lie?
A Quirk of Destiny is a chilling look at a world where science is used against rather than for the good of mankind. Calum O’Connell is a scientist at the Department for Food and Environment assessing the safety of new food technologies. Puzzled by a number of incidents involving fellow scientists, he soon finds himself caught up in a deadly worldwide epidemic.
Calum suspects genetically-modified food is the cause of the epidemic and sets out in search of the truth. A natural leader, he gathers around him an ever-growing band of people unaffected by the illness in his quest to find answers and refuge from the authorities who seek to silence him.
A Quirk of Destiny is a fast-moving story about what happens when too much power is held by too few people.
A government scientist writing a government scientist, eh? How much of your real-life experience went into writing this book?
I am a chemist and environmental scientist, who worked for the local authorities and later the government. So, I know how things are done and the things that are good and bad about the system. I drew on a lot of my own direct experience, both during my career and afterwards, when I have maintained my interest in scientific and political developments, especially those that affect the environment and human health. I have also drawn on my experience as a vegan.
A Quirk of Destiny, the first book in the trilogy, is based on real science and real events. I wrote the book to expose what is secretly being done to our food supply. Everyone thinks that the government wouldn’t allow toxic food to be sold and that it is all safety-tested before being fed to us. I found that this isn’t the case, and I wanted to raise awareness of this in an entertaining way.
I have taken the worldwide situation and tried to imagine who would want this and why. This then led me to consider the political system, who it serves and why it makes no difference which party gets into power, we still get the same sick policies. I used my literary licence to invent a very twisted truth behind what is happening. But I suspect that it may not be too far from the actual truth. I have had feedback that the book is very scary.
Return to Gallanvaig is the second book in the trilogy and carries on the story as things get darker. Will good or evil win the modern-day battle for Earth?
Heavy...Well, I hope it opens readers' eyes. Apocalyptic fiction has a fandom all its own. What is your favorite apocalyptic book/movie/show?
I love Stephen King’s writing and one of my favourite apocalyptic novels of his is The Stand. It’s a fantastic work with lots of twists and turns, just the way I like my novels. I also like books like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, where books are burned by firemen, instead of being read, to keep knowledge from the people. And I enjoyed Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, where alien plants arrive and take over human bodies. Fascinating.
Which one of your characters surprised you?
I once asked a major character to commit an act of violence, which was totally out of character, and he point blank refused. I finally agreed with him and changed the story.
Haha! Love it. Who is your favorite (or least favorite) character and why?
The leader of the mutant Genies, Balthazar, is pretty evil and has no conscience or empathy. He commits many acts of violence towards his enemies. He also has some pretty extraordinary and scary psychic powers. I don’t like him very much, but I have met people who are a bit like him.
But the worst characters are the ones in the shadows, who are carrying out an evil programme to meet their own agenda. They have enormous wealth and power and don’t care what happens to humans, so long as they get what they want.
If you could time-travel, would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go, and why would you choose that time period?
If I could time travel, I would go into the future. Not too far, just around fifty years or so, to see if my suspicions are correct and we really are in so much trouble. Then, I would return and warn everyone. They might not listen, but at least I will have tried. Although, if the Apocalypse I suspect is imminent has happened, there may only be smoking ruins left. And the odd Genie creeping around…
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
If readers have enjoyed my books they can help to make them successful by leaving a review on Amazon. This gives other potential readers an idea of what the book is about and whether they are likely to enjoy it too. I really appreciate it when people take the time to share how much they enjoyed a book and what they thought of it. And please tell your friends!
What can we expect from you next?
I am currently working on the final book in the trilogy, Destiny of Light, which brings the story to an end. I hope people will have enjoyed the trilogy and maybe even have learned something, or perhaps changed their lifestyles and eating habits. I hope people wake up to what is being done to them before it’s too late.
Don’t have nightmares...
After a long career as a government scientist, Catherine Greenall wrote the first novel in a trilogy, A Quirk of Destiny, a science fiction, apocalyptic tale, which was awarded joint best book of 2013 by Green Living. Return to Gallanvaig is the second book in the series. She is now working on the third novel in the series.
Her work includes ghost, horror, science fiction, and vegan cookery, as well as scientific works. She is a long-term vegan and environmentalist. In addition to the Quirk of Destiny trilogy, her published works include a cookbook Vegans Can't Eat Anything!
Her short stories include Burnview and the short story collection Echoes and Reverberations.
Her scientific works include The Mersey Measure. She also edited her father Robert Greenall's autobiography, The Greenall Chronicle.