Why did you write Clonmac's Bridge?
I happened on a news story of the discovery of the real 9th century bridge at Clonmacnoise Monastery — Ireland’s oldest major span, long since sunken into the Shannon River. I was fascinated by the fact that large parts of it were intact, despite being made of wood. I wove that into an archaeological mystery, and included elements of romance and business drama. I wanted to highlight the conflicts among academics and corporation executives, as well as pay tribute to scientific heroes.
What kind of reader would enjoy Clonmac's Bridge?
I flatter myself that would include anyone who likes a good dramatic story, well written with admirable heroes and despicable villains. More particularly, it would appeal to lovers of mystery, archaeology, and / or romantic drama.
How did you develop your characters?
Though the story is based on real events, none of the characters remotely resemble the real scientists. They’re based on my personal experiences in life, along with a large dose of wishful thinking. They're the kind of people I've met in life — or would like to.
Why did you decide to publish Clonmac's Bridge yourself?
I gave up on traditional publishing years ago out of necessity. Or, more accurately, they gave up on me without even trying. After four novel submissions to literally hundreds of agents, it became pointless to continue along that route. No one was interested.
Happily, things have changed so much in publishing that, unless you’re Ken Follett and get huge advances with large advertising campaigns, there are no advantages to using a mainstream publisher anymore.
Are you working on any new writing at the moment?
Yes, I’m writing a romantic suspense story set (chiefly) at a New England lighthouse. It promises to be a dark, almost Gothic romance but with large elements of mystery. It's quite unlike anything I've tried before. Damnably difficult but very engaging.
After that I may finish the re-telling of the William Tell story I’ve developed about his years before and after the famous apple shooting incident. Then, it’s on to the Age of Discovery trilogy — starting when Portuguese ships first rounded Africa and opened the seagoing spice route to India. I’ve been researching it for a few years.
Thanks so much Jeffrey for these fascinating insights into your writing world. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
I also enjoyed reading Jeff's historical novel Cossacks in Paris and am looking forward to reading his mystery Death is Overrated and the new books when they are published.
There's more information about author Jeffrey Perren and all his books on his Amazon author page.