Sally Fernandez, a novelist of provocative political thrillers, wasn’t always twisting facts with fiction. Heavily endowed with skills acquired in banking, she embarked upon her writing career. Fernandez’ focus on computer technology, business consulting, and project management, enhanced by business and technical writing, proved to be a boon. Her books of fiction also reflect the knowledge garnered from her business experiences, while living in New York City, San Francisco, and Hong Kong.
Fernandez’ foray into writing fiction officially began in 2007 when the presidential election cycle was in full swing. The overwhelming political spin by the media compelled her to question the frightening possibilities the political scene could generate. As a confirmed political junkie, she took to the keyboard armed with unwinding events and discovered a new and exciting career.
Climatized is Fernandez’ fifth novel and the first in the “Max Ford Thriller” series, featuring Maxine Ford as the female protagonist. Her prior series, The Simon Tetralogy, was comprised of Brotherhood Beyond the Yard, Noble’s Quest, The Ultimate Revenge and Redemption. Each book provided an exhilarating platform for the next, with a gripping narrative that challenges the reader to put the book down. The ever-elusive Simon’s daring escapes add unheard of dimensions to the classic cat and mouse game. Her development of the other characters has created a lasting bond between them and the reader, especially now that Max has taken center stage.
A world traveler, Ms. Fernandez and her husband, also the editor-in-residence, split time between their homes in the United States and Florence, Italy.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a political fiction author?
A: Murder, mystery, mayhem and, of course, politics. When I wrote my first novel, Brotherhood Beyond the Yard, people often asked my husband, who is also my content editor, “Where does she come up with these ideas?” His reply was, “We eat the same food, drink the same wine, and sleep in the same bed. I have no idea.” After the second novel, Noble’s Quest was published, his reply was, “All I know is that I sleep with one eye open.” Most important, I take to heart the words of Pericles when in 435 BC he said, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” That is why I find it fascinating to take current political events and weave them into a fictional tales to engender the ultimate question, “What if?”
Q: Tell us why readers should buy Climatized.
A: Climate change is a topic up there with religion and politics that creates not only heated conversations, but much confusion. In the course of conducting research for two earlier novels, I discovered that there is a disconnect between the scientific data and the public policy. As with all my novels I weave fact with fiction as a means of creating an entertaining read, but also to inform. Climatized will put to rest much of the confusion and shine a light on the real science.
I guarantee the reader will not be bored with the conflicting views when Max is hired by the wife of a prominent senator to determine the cause of his untimely death. It leads her to discover that three world-renowned scientists had lost their lives days before they were scheduled to testify before the late senator’s investigative committee. Meanwhile, a fourth scientist has gone missing. Max determined he is the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Following the many twists and turns, Max and her associate, Jackson Monroe uncover a powerful organization responsible for the killings. Cogent evidence is provided to the president, forcing him to make a crucial decision—to cover up a diabolical plot—or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar world-wide economy.
Q: What makes a good political fiction?
A: As Francis Bacon said, “Truth is hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” This statement became the impetus for my plot lines, therefore most of the political events are factual and weaved into a fictional plot. I have used my knowledge of technology to some degree, as well as my international travels in the plotline. Oftentimes, I have used a location and real characters where I shared experiences. My overall style of writing, is to challenge the reader to sort out what is real and what is fictional.
Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: My writing environment varies with an office in my home in the United States and another in my home in Florence, Italy. My bi-locations somewhat inspire aspects of my plot, but primarily they provide a quiet haven for creating. Then, of course there is the hotel room somewhere in the world, when my husband and I need a change of venue. But wherever I write, my routine is the same; a morning workout to clear my head, which prepares me for six to seven hours of steady writing and/or research. At the end of each day, I’m greeted with a glass of wine from my husband, who is also my editor. That’s when we discuss the current status of the book, what I am working on, what he was editing, or what is in the offing.
Q: What has writing taught you?
A: I’ve become extremely detailed and rather picky. The narrative must be grammatically correct, but I allow for colloquial expressions in dialogue. That along with the appropriate style of language will keep the characters genuine. In total I’ve become a better student of words and grammar and it has become apparent in normal discussions, presentations, and everyday life. Fortunately, storytelling is part of my DNA.