As promised, here’s the story behind the story of one of the hottest new releases in Christian Fiction Suspense -The Methuselah Project by ACFW author Rick Barry.
One, that history fascinates me, especially World War II history. (I don’t care so much about big-picture troop movements as I do the individual experiences of ordinary men and women thrown into incredible circumstances. I always wonder, “What would I have done?”)
Second, that I like airplanes. My Dad, Tom Barry, learned to fly in the 1940s, so all the time I was growing up, our family owned one kind of single-engine airplane or another at the Pontiac Airport in Michigan. Even as a tot, I went flying with Dad as he piloted over our house and our neighborhood. Later in life I took skydiving lessons. What a thrill!
Third, reviewers picked up on the fact that sci-fi has influenced me since this novel contains a slight flavor of science fiction without actually being a sci-fi story. I have two older brothers, and even when I was too little to turn on the TV, they were tuning in to programs such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and the original Star Trek series. (I was the first person in Mrs. Yuchartz’s third-grade class at Dublin Elementary who could do a proper Vulcan salute. My young claim to fame!)
Lastly, I’m a bit of a romantic. Sure, I could’ve written a macho story about Roger Greene and the experiment without any women in it. But the real world does have women, and we are not Vulcans. Real people have feelings. We long to connect, to fall in love. So I definitely wanted at minimum a thread of romance to bring the story alive and give it more appeal for a wider audience of readers.
I have a strong faith in the Lord. The book is not preachy, but my God-centered worldview is there. I prayed over every chapter as I wrote it.
There have been past movies and even a couple short-run TV series (one of them British) that brought an aviator from the past into the present. For instance, Mel Gibson starred in a 1992 movie called Forever Young. He was not a WW2 pilot, but he got frozen in a device that somehow kept him on ice for decades without even being plugged in. The title was ridiculous since Mel rapidly aged at the end. The story was so-so, but in my opinion fell far short of its potential.
As I developed the concept for The Methuselah Project, I did not want space ships or aliens or any hardcore science fiction. But I needed some believable method of getting my main character from 1943 to 2015 without aging him much. When I hit upon the idea of a Nazi experiment—Bingo! All the pieces began to fall into place. That’s when I got seriously excited and couldn’t wait for each opportunity to get back to the keyboard!
Judging from readers’ enthusiastic responses, this mix of history, suspense, romance, and a light dusting of sci-fi is a success. I credit the Lord for that. I also thank all the readers who are contacting friends and urging them to try The Methuselah Project!
If anyone would like to connect with me, I invite them to visit my author site, http://www.rickcbarry.com.
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