How Rix Roundtree Came Up With The Ideas For His Book And Its Characters
I love classic films from 1930 through 1966 and I look to them for inspiration. They can be westerns (Garden Of Evil), film noir (D.O.A.), dramas (The Damned Don’t Cry), or sci-fi (The Thing From Another World). It is these sci-fi films from which I get my greatest inspiration, specifically sci-fi B-movies from the 1950s. There are two specific 50’s sci-fi films that motivate me and they are the classics When Worlds Collide and The Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. I do not watch these two films in their entirety, I only watch the narrated introductions. The narrated intro of When Worlds Collide is, “Through telescopes men of science constantly search the infinitesimal corners of our solar system seeking new discoveries, hoping to better understand the laws of the universe.” The intro of The Earth vs. the Flying Saucers goes, “Since biblical times mankind has witnessed and recorded strange manifestations in the sky and speculated on the possibility of, visitors from another world.” For whatever reason, these two pieces of narration start my creative juices flowing.
Now, with my creative juices flowing, I’m ready to begin a new book. I decided I wanted to write an apocalyptic end of the world combination murder mystery story. I started research on the topic of apocalyptic world ending and after some research I came upon the Hopi Indian’s ancient end of the world prophecy known as the Kachina. I decided to utilize the Kachina for my story and printed out information on this mysterious Native American event.
After my research is completed I need to get out of the house and away from the Internet (from which I collected my Kachina data). To begin, I go to the park (even during the winter months) with a 10 ½” x 8” notebook in which I will write down my ideas and thoughts and my printed out Kachina information. If by chance I don’t have the notebook with me when I get an idea (which is quite often) I write my ideas down on anything I can find. That would be paper napkins, slips of paper, the backs of cash register receipts, etc. Then later I place these pieces of paper inside the notebook.
Character diversity is of paramount importance to me as I want to write a book that everyone who enjoys reading will want to read. By everyone I mean, all races, sexes, ages and sexual orientations. I want the book to appeal to average everyday folks of all educational levels, be they avid or casual readers, blue-collar, white-collar, entry-level workers and even people making minimum wage jobs. I want everyone to feel represented in my book, thus they will feel a connection with the book’s characters. I want my book to have mass appeal and in order to achieve mass appeal the book’s characters must be as diverse as the audience of readers that I want to reach.
Now it is time for me to decide on a (working) title for the book. Originally it was the very simple and straight forward “The End Of The World.”
With notebook in hand I now have to decide what type of end of the world story I want to write. Do I want the story to be built on the foundation of an industry, an institution, an organization or a family?
Now as this is also going to be a murder mystery I begin to I think about what type of person I want the alleged murderer to be? What is his or her socio-economic background (rich, poor, middle class, etc)? What will be their race, sex, and age? I have the same questions of the murder victim. Next I have to determine if the alleged murderer has family friends or professional associates.
I must define the personality types of the murderer, murder victim and their friends, family associates. To do this I must determine what kind of child was the alleged murderer, murder victim and their friends, family associates, and how did they evolve into their current personality types. Now I must decide if the murderer, murder victim and their family associates are in business together or are they a family. In either case the next step is to determine how they function as a unit; are they close-knit, emotionally distant or dysfunctional.
Next up; how is the murder committed? What will be weapon used to commit the murder? Where will the murder take place?
How does the alleged murderer find Nikolas Thime, the man who will be their attorney and the book’s protagonist? How is the book’s protagonist, Nikolas Thime, introduced into the murder mystery?
I then want to know where everyone resides (geographically), that means, in what locales will the storytake place? I love the United States and decide that all locales will be within my country so this book will have no foreign/overseas settings.
I’d already decided I wanted to bring the world to an end, now I must decide how. At this juncture I must look into the various scientific disciplines that could potentially end a world. I am by no means a science whiz and I am not well versed in any of the various sciences, so, again I must do more research. My research leads me to the science of physics and specifically electromagnetic radiation of the cosmic variety. The study of this science will be my biggest challenge because being that I’m no Stephen Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson or even Bill Nye “the science guy” I must take detailed notes and intensely study them over and over again in order to attain a basic understanding of the science in order to apply it to my story in a (somewhat) believable and logical manner. This is important because if I understand the science I will come across as credible and knowledgeable about the subject matter sciences to the readers of my book. Also, while I’m researching I must also research the organization, institution or industry (associated with the murderer/murder victim) I have chosen as well as my chosen locales.
Nikolas Thime: The End Of My World, is many genres including thriller and science fiction, but at its core it is a simple murder mystery. It’s the story of the murder of the Native American presidential candidate Henry “Hank” Ironhorse and Linda Wetzel, cosmetics company owner and President of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who is accused of his murder. Linda Wetzel’s arrest leads her to Nikolas Thime, the best criminal defense attorney in Washington DC. Proving his client Linda Wetzel innocent of the Hank Ironhorse murder becomes a very difficult task for Nick as his client harbors dark secrets. Nick Thime must navigate his client’s sea of secrets to expose the true killer of Hank Ironhorse, for if he doesn’t, not only will Linda Wetzel’s world come to an end, but quite possibly his as well, as his past present and future could be obliterated from the timeline.
Nikolas Thime: The End of My World by Rix Roundtree can be purchased now on Amazon.