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Thursday 2 March 2017

ℚ♫ Atone for the Ivory Cloud - Geoffrey Wells

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Atone for the Ivory Cloud (, Ice Wine Productions, Inc., 280 pages), a Thriller.

“Atone for the Ivory Cloud is a compelling, fast-paced thriller with an exotic international flavor. Geoffrey Wells takes the reader on an enthralling ride, skillfully entwining cybercrime, music, and the fate of African elephants in a breathtaking tale of danger and romance.” ~ Pamela Burford, best-selling author of Undertaking Irene.

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Geoffrey Wells; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

We love music, so Geoffrey has shared with us his music playlist for Atone for the Ivory Cloud.

"All are mentioned in the book!

Arnold Schoenberg, the composer:
“Allison enjoyed their squirming. For her, whistling was a memory exercise and a challenge to create pitch-perfect notes, albeit in a melody-less vacuum.”
The kalimba is also an instrument that appears constantly throughout the story.

I also have a video about my thoughts on writing about music."
Excellent, I have added that as the last item on the playlist - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Atone for the Ivory Cloud?
"I was inspired by an accident in Central Park, NY when a pedestrian decided to stroll through a 10K race, and a lecture at Julliard Music School and my memory of elephants enjoying a waterhole."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I write from the point of view of three characters and in each there is an aspect of my own experience:
  • Allison, my MC, is a composer, and I draw on my interest in musical theory, and piano-playing past.
  • Sipho, Allison’s hero, is an African immigrant making a living in New York City. I emigrated from South Africa in 1980, so I relate to the immigration story.
  • And, bad boy Rex is an IT executive and I draw on years managing IT departments—including cyber security—at Disney, ABC and the Fox."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Atone for the Ivory Cloud - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I chose this cover concept (and title) on the advice of a well-respected literary agent who advised me to reflect the feel/tone of the story of the cover. Hence the obvious, but tense relationship of the two characters, separated by the elephant and calf at a waterhole. The lightning figuratively connects the elephant to the clouds which have an overlay of a network, implying the cyber implications of the story.

The illustration is done by my wife, Cynthia Wells, an award-winning artist and animator who collaborated with Dawn Hickerson of Austin Design Works who I hired for the overall design."
Why should we read Atone for the Ivory Cloud and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I am uniquely qualified to write this story because of my African experiences, my long career in IT, combined with a passion for the power of music as an agent of change.

The unlikely Allison and Sipho relationship is unique, not just because they are a biracial couple, but also because she comes from a privileged upbringing, whereas he is the quintessential immigrant, striving for success in America, against all odds. The combination makes for a lively and tense relationship.

The subject matter is also unusual—I hesitate to say unique—as it mingles both the analog world of elephant conservation with virtual organized crime operating in the Dark Web."
Can you tell us something quirky about Atone for the Ivory Cloud, its story and characters?
"The plot has a Kalimba, an African thumb piano, that serves as a connection between Sipho and Allison. Sipho is the Xhosa name for “gift” and is also a common first name. He gives Allison the kalimba as an eponymous gift."
Who would you recommend Atone for the Ivory Cloud to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I recommended this book for anyone interested in taking responsibility for our planet, and wanting to connect the dots in a globally bio-diverse, and socially diverse world.

As in any thriller—especially mine that has a strong romance element to it—there are scenes of intimacy (nothing gross or lewd) and the occasional f-bomb. The violence is not gratuitous but is necessary for the telling of a story that is partly about elephant poaching."
If you could / wished to turn Atone for the Ivory Cloud into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’m going to pass on this question, except to say that I worked as a Hollywood director’s assistant and know better than to fanaticize about casting. The reader must cast this book all by themselves!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to write about imperfect characters that fight the villains who devastate our natural and virtual ecosystems—that, so far has taken the form of a thriller. I prefer character-based thrillers, and even literary works, such as Jonathan Franzen’s Purity."
What is your writing process?
"I am a morning person, so I start at 5am and write through noon. Afternoons are about the business of writing and the evenings are for my family. For me balance and consistency is the key."
What is in store next?
"Next is very tantalizing for me as I will be pulling together characters from my first two thrillers. The story will take place mostly on the North Fork of Long Island and the ecosystem I will be writing around will be water."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I am a long-distance open water swimmer: Here is a photograph."
Wow. I am in awe. I cannot swim to save my life (floating is my best effort!) It is such a demanding activity. Thank you for sharing with us!

Atone for the Ivory Cloud
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

Great interview. I do enjoy learning about an author and the story behind the story, especially this one since it is on my TBR list. Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts about my book.