Blog tour: The Blue Man

Welcome to the blog tour for The Blue Man by Sue Lumb!

Hi Sue! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Blue Man! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A:  Thank you for your interest.

The Blue Man is a sci fi/fantasy. It tells a story about a scientist who falls overboard  during a storm, he has an underwater encounter with an inexplicable phenomenon. This has a profound and devastating effect. He finds himself in an intimate relationship not only with the inhabitants of a remote island who rescue him, but also with the creature he encountered. It begins to pursue him. He discovers that the creature is from a distant universe, a highly technological race of beings  who use watery  androids for exploratory purposes. They  have made a remarkable discovery in the waters of the Isle Of Manes, an organism which has properties which may help them to delay the impact of a devastating environmental disaster on their planet.

The narrative swoops from one world to the other, revealing the existence of other beings and their cultures. It tells of their plight and the machiavellian forces that hinder them. These grand, universe spanning themes are contrasted with the everyday goings on of the Island dwellers, who are unaware of the titanic forces that are at play on their doorstep.

Can you pinpoint the moment that the idea for this book came to you?

A: Living on an island as I do, the sea is always a presence, both physically and in my mental landscape. I became interested in tales of the mythical sea creatures that were sighted over the centuries in these waters. There were the Ghelbies and Silkies of the Irish Sea, and the Blue Men of the Minch to the North. I wanted to give them credence, a reason for existing in our world. This eventually led to the creation of two disparate worlds, linked together through the sighting of a Blue Man. I liked the idea of mingling the quiet everyday goings on of an island people with a world beyond human comprehension.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: I did have an overall arc for the story of both worlds, but as the story developed a great deal more began to emerge. I found that the other world served as a platform to explore issues I feel strongly about.

I also found it more credible to keep the Islanders for the most part completely unaware of the presence of the alien beings. Their belief in myths and legends suffice as an explanation for the strange occurrences in their lives.

Was The Blue Man your working title? Either way, how did you choose it?

A:  The legends of the Blue Man were my initial  inspiration, so I wanted to keep  this as the title. The subtitle ‘A Door Opens to Worlds Beyond’, suggests something  beyond the   realms of understanding. Hopefully this arouses a reader’s curosity.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: I wrote the first chapter many times! I knew the overall story, but choosing where to introduce the reader to it all took a good while. I had to bring the reader into the storm and then take them to the Island. At the same time I needed to introduce the alien phenomena without getting bogged down in too much explanation.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: There are a number of characters who make an appearance but do not develop as you might expect. They serve as ‘way markers’ in The Blue Man, but return to develop their own story in the sequel.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: In my next project which is almost complete, I have taken themes and elements of the Blue Man and brought them to a tighter conclusion.  However, the sequel finds the inhabitants of the alien planet threatened by a devastating force, this time of their own making.  A starship controlled by a rogue AI returns. It’s presence threatens the peaceful coexistence of the different cultures on their planet and also the future  existence of Earth.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I have just re-read The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A:  I understand that it is an important pathway to reaching a wider audience and am expanding the range and frequency of my social network activity. Although it can be disruptive, the increased level of interaction can at times serve to inspire and motivate me.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Write about something that is close to your heart. 

Thank you for your time!

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