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Thursday 13 May 2021

ℚ Condition Black - Stu Jones, Gareth Worthington

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with authors to talk about Condition Black (, Dropship Publishing, 311 pages), a Medical Techno-Thriller.

"Like Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, this book is revolutionary. Incredible." ~ Jonas Saul, author of the best-selling Sarah Roberts series.

"Unlike anything I've read before. Smart, insightful, accurate (and compassionate) neurodivergent representation.” - Amazon Customer

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

A very warm welcome to Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Condition Black?

Gareth: "So, originally Stu had an idea he wanted to work on in the vein of the Fantastic Voyage, and he wanted me to write with him to beef up the science part.  We sat together at a Comic Con in Alabama and hashed out the bones of the story while sat at our booth!"
Stu: "With all the biology at play, I knew from the beginning that I’d never be able to write Condition Black without Gareth.  His scientific expertise is vastly superior to mine. I  set out from the beginning to rope him in and get him invested in this project.  It worked!"
Stu & Gareth, March 2020
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
Gareth & Nikolaj
Gareth:  "there are two aspects of this book that are close to my heart.  The first is obviously the science.  I have been in the healthcare sector my whole career and so I was able to bring the science and medical expertise to the book.

The second is Evan’s character who is on the Autism Spectrum.  My son Nikolaj is on the spectrum, too.  Originally Stu and I were going to make Evan’s character just have anxiety attacks, but then we thought why not explore what it’s like living with ASD.  I didn’t want the story to be an ASD journey, but more a story with a character who happens to be on the spectrum.  It’s a subtle difference.  Evan is based very much on my son, and how he sees the world."
Stu: "Actually, only little elements of myself are present in this story.  Specifically, the tactical stuff and expertise on conflict/combat comes from my experience in Law Enforcement Special Operations.  I didn’t serve in the military, but I have a lot of very close friends who did.  I also have my own form of Post-Traumatic-Stress from a two decade career in Law Enforcement.  Some things, the worst ones, don’t ever leave you."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Condition Black - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
Gareth:  "Well, I’m the artist!  It’s a simple cover that reflects Evan’s autism, Billy’s PTSD and of course the sci fi twist that you’ll have to discover when reading!"
Why should we read Condition Black and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
Gareth:  "Stu and I go out of our way to push the science and action to the limit, such that it takes only a little leap of faith to consider it may actually happen.  We do our research.  It has been uncanny how some of the things we include in our joint ventures end up on the news as actually happening.  If you’ve read our last series, It Takes Death to Reach a Star, you’ll know what I mean!"
Stu: "Some of the concepts we played with in this story at first seem like pure sci-fi, but reality is sometimes far stranger than fiction.  Some of the crazy things we touch on are actually plausible, given another twenty or thirty years, maybe even probable.  As Gareth said above, we work hard to make sure that what we write isn’t just some made up nonsense.  It could happen.  And that, alongside great characters, high stakes tension, and a bunch of action, brings the story to life."
Who would you recommend Condition Black to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
Gareth:  "People who read Michael Crichton for sure!

Trigger wise, we don’t skimp on realistic fight scenes.  It can get brutal."
Stu: "We recommend this story to anyone who loves medical, military, or technothrillers.  Even fans of hard sci-fi will find something here to enjoy.  From the start we ratchet the action and tension to eleven.  Sometimes that means things get a little rough but that’s important for the conflict to be legit.  We tend to put our protagonists through the ringer."
If you could / wished to turn Condition Black into a movie, who would be your dream team?
Gareth:  "Ah well, James Cameron, or Ang Lee to direct maybe?  I have no idea who’d play Evan—that is a difficult role to fill."
Stu: "James Cameron would be awesome to direct.  Guillermo Del Toro could also pull it off.
As for actors, Aaron Eckhart jumps into my head to play Billy Vick.  Middle aged guy, able to play tough but with a lot of emotional depth."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
Gareth:  "I like action adventure with a science twist, à la Michael Crichton or Adrian Tchaikovsky though I also like exploring other genres too."
Stu: "With Gareth we tend to veer towards hard science-based stories when we write.  Solo my imagination goes bonkers and there’s no telling what’s going to come out.  I’ve always had a love for concepts that bordered on sci-fi.

I’m a voracious reader.  When it comes to reading, it’s whatever I can get my hands on.  Often times it’s something on the craft of writing, but Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s novels have been a long-time favorite of mine as well."
What is your writing process?
Gareth:  "For me it’s outline, outline, outline until you have a novel!"
"Stu: "Forget the outline and GO!  The story will show you the way.  This is one of those areas where Gareth and I complement each other.""
What is in store next?
Gareth:  "For me I have my first Nordic noir coming out in May, A Time for Monsters.  It just made Buzz Books Spring Summer 2021 greatest upcoming reads.  I’m pretty stoked. 

I am working on a hardcore sci fi fantasy and Stu and I have plans for some epic stories that will really push us as writers."
Stu: "Condition Black is a standalone novel, so it's on to other projects after this.  Lots of fun things in the works presently.  I’ve got two works in different stages of development, a Cyberpunk thriller and a Superhero action-adventure story, both coming soon.  Gareth and I also still have a few tricks up our sleeves.  We’ve got something mind-bending in the works."
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?
Gareth:  "So, this image has everything that makes me, well, me!  My tattoos that I’ve acquired all over the world, my sunglasses by Initium Eyewear in support of Micah’s Voice Autism Charity, a Balmain shirt because I love fashion and my Chronoswiss watch because I am a total watch nerd (this one is one of thirty-five, hand-made and hand-guilloched in Switzerland.  See, nerd)."
Stu: "I’m a dog lover.  Big time.  I laughed at the Goldendoodle breed.  Told my wife there was no way I was having a dog like that.  Not masculine enough or something stupid like that.  Well, you can see how that worked out for me haha.  His name is Gunnar and He’s my buddy."
Gareth and Stu, thank you so much for sharing! Love the watch and, of course, the gorgeous Gunnar (Stu, his pictures on your Instagram simply crack me up; and the one of him as a puppy is just ridiculously cute!)

I hope you are having a great tour, and look forward to grabbing a copy of Condition Black.

Non-stop action and intrigue collide with near future nano-technology in this explosive new medical technothriller.

Condition Black
Available NOW!

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Wall-to-wall books said...

Hey Thanks for this great interviewer! Already a fan - this just makes me love them both even more!!!

BooksChatter said...

I must admit, they have won me over :-)

Gareth worthington said...

Thanks for the awesome interview :)