Monday, October 12, 2015

Interview with Christopher Keating, author of 'That Which Maddens and Torments'

Chris Keating had his first story published when he was just seven years old and in second grade. He has been writing both fiction and nonfiction ever since.

He wrote his first book, Dialogues on 2012: Why the World Will Not End, while he was a professor of physics at the U.S Naval Academy. He was inspired to write it because of continually being questioned on all walks of life about the myth the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 according to the Mayan calendar.

After the world didn’t end, Chris decided to tackle the controversial topic of climate change by writing Undeniable! Dialogues on Global Warming, which was published in 2014. He also began the online Global Warming Skeptic Challenge, offering $10,000 to the first person who could prove the fallacy of global warming. His challenge quickly went viral and Chris spent his entire summer that year responding to submissions. He later published a compilation of the submissions and his responses, which can be purchased at or downloaded as a free PDF at Chris also writes the blog, Dialogues on Global Warming, which is devoted to climate change issues.

Chris most recent book is the thriller, That Which Maddens and Torments. It pits an ambitious, hard-hitting young newspaper journalist writing about global warming against villainous denier lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who are working for the fossil fuel industry. At the behest of their clients, the lobbyists will stop at nothing to protect the industry’s profits and to ensure that a scientific study proving the truth of global warming does not become public. Chris hopes that by tackling the issue of global warming via a work of fiction, he will engage a broader cross section of people in the issue.

After successful careers as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy and the Navy Reserve and then as a professor of physics, Chris now lives in the Texas Hill Country, where he continues to focus on climate change research and to write.

For More Information
  • Visit Christopher Keating’s website.
  • Connect with Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Christopher at Goodreads.
  • Visit Christopher’s blog.
About the Book:

Title: That Which Maddens and Torments
Author: Christopher Keating
Publisher: Christopher Keating
Pages: 274
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

With the encouragement of her uncle, a retired professor of geophysics, Josephine Black, a recent college graduate, begins reporting on the issue of climate change for a major New York City newspaper. She quickly discovers that she has a passion for the subject and a talent for investigative journalism.

It’s not long before Jo’s hard-hitting articles are being noticed. However, leaders within the powerful fossil fuel industry don’t like what they are reading. They believe that the information in Jo’s articles could threaten their profits eventually, and they are also concerned that Jo will uncover a scientific report written by a friend of her uncle’s that proves the truth about global warming. The industry’s leaders are ruthless and are willing to stop at nothing to silence Jo and protect their profits.

Soon, Jo finds herself caught up in a very dangerous high stakes “cat and mouse game” related to the climate change debate. A game that combines politics and policy brokering at the highest levels of government with criminality. However, Jo is determined to outwit her ruthless enemies no matter what it takes.

Full of twists and turns, That Which Maddens and Torments is an entertaining, page-turning read. However, it also provides readers with insights into the debate surrounding the issue of global warming and helps to explain the motivation behind many of the global warming skeptics or deniers we read about or see on TV.

For More Information

  • That Which Maddens and Torments is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Writing is what I enjoy most. But, when not writing, I devote myself to doing research in climate change (I’m a professor of physics) and working on my house. I have a very good social network and I enjoy spending time with my friends.

When did you start writing?

I wrote my first story in second grade. A friend was putting together a book of stories on World War II and approached me about contributing a story. I wrote the story and then we talked about the issues he had with it and I made adjustments. I don’t know what ever became of the book, but I have been writing ever since.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Sitting down and actually writing. Many people talk about writing a book, but never get around to doing it. The hardest thing about writing a book is the first word.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Right where I am. I moved here so I could devote myself to writing and it is a great place for it. A café on the shore of Lake Geneva might be pretty good, too.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Write more. And read. I love to read.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

The Middle East. I’m going to Saudi Arabia for a while and I’m very interested in exploring the opportunities for a good book.

Back to your present book, That Which Maddens and Torments, how did you publish it?

I’m an Indy publisher. I explored the hyper-competitive world of traditional publishing and decided to do it myself. Publishing is easy, the marketing is a lot of hard work and I’m learning more every day.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Not really. I had visited most of the areas in the book before I started so I didn’t feel the need to make a personal visit. That won’t be the case in some future books and I’ll have to visit them. I love to travel, so I’m looking forward to doing that.

Why was writing That Which Maddens and Torments so important to you?

It was my first novel. That was the dream I had been working towards since I was a child. It was very rewarding to see it in print.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Life. Many of the parts of my books are adapted from real life. Life has more imagination than anyone person can produce. Pay attention and take notes to what is happening around you. Then, fictionalize it to fit your story line.

Any final words?

Write that first word. It gets easier after that.

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