Wow, it really is hard to believe. ‘BLACK TIDE’, my third book in the ‘anoxic zone’ series will be out in November. BLACK TIDE is a deranged effort resulting in a prequel that is as twisted and dark as anything I’ve ever written. Just as the title works on several levels so the story rises up around you in a black tide of greed, pain, and hatred that threatens to pull you under. Once again Jake finds himself a victim of his own karma and circumstances beyond his control. The wheel turns crushing him between the gears of Megacorp, the bottom line, and his own beliefs.
Speaking of the title, I must admit, BLACK TIDE was not my first choice even though it works so well you’d think it was. Perhaps all authors go through the same thing, finding the perfect title. My first choice was ‘the Jonah’. Okay we need some background here. Two things come to mind.
First Jonah Mettler was a good friend of mine. It was and still is an honor to have known him. We worked together at a biotech firm fitting pipe and putting mad scientists ideas to work. It had its rewards. The most important being able to work with one of the finest craftsmen I have ever met. This guy was good. During the course of working with Jonah I learned more about myself on a personal level and the way things work on a nuts and bolt level, which created a highly creative work atmosphere. His work ethic is strongly represented in Jake’s character. It was one of the things that drew me to him in the first place. ‘Man this guy loves his work.’ Regardless of what the project was it was guaranteed you’d have the time of your life as long as you worked hard and did your best.
I seem to judge a lot of men by their work ethic, or lack of one. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But to relax well you must first work hard. For how would you know what rest is if you had not been busy doing its opposite? To understand comfort it is good to ride a hard bench for a few years. And as the theory goes, the less rest and comfort you receive the more you appreciate it.
Well Jonah was like that. Perhaps I loved him because he brought out the best in me. His parents were neighbors and when Jonah died I was able to share back all that he had given me.
It was my relationship with his family that brings us to point # two. If you have noticed, the titles used in the ‘anoxic zone’ series have water related titles, naturally. In keeping with that tradition, ‘the Jonah’ fit right in. Maritime usage has ‘the Jonah’ being a bad omen. The original Jonah was thrown overboard for having killed an albatross and thus damning the vessel. It is also the beginning of the tale of Jonah and the belly of the whale wherein the mariner has an epiphany of sorts and the whale barfs him up.
Having Jonah and Jake together at the start of the novel serves to warn the reader of the darker things to come. Jake will spend his time in hell by becoming that darkness, that evil that resides within us all, bringing me to the point. Jonah’s family are avid readers and I did not want their son’s name staring them in the face each time they looked at it. You see, Jonah’s death was not without a certain amount of darkness attached to it. So it is out of love and respect that ‘BLACK TIDE’ was chosen. Without love and respect you end up with the world I write about.
Even the macabre has its upside. This is what I would call the ‘feel good’ book of the year. Feel strange too, disturbed, shocked at what I do with your imagination with intense imagery, but feel good? Definitely. Chances are you will love your life even more by the time you turn the last page. I mean how could you not, especially after what I do to the characters. This story has all the grit and gore of the first two taking you into the depths of Jake’s, if not your own soul. He struggles to survive when all that makes life worth living is taken away. Jake refuses to let go of his self, when doing so would have been far easier. The agonizing effort at redemption is not without its cost. By himself he could not have done it. Not without the help of some ‘friends.’ A little love goes a long way. Then again I could be wrong.
BLACK TIDE by john g rees
When your number comes up and Megacorp comes to take the cream of the crop will you be ready to do what it takes to save yourself? Are you willing to forget your own issues and help others with theirs? It is the only way to keep the madness at bay and balance the scales.