ABOUT AUTHOR: Thomas Locke AKA Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.

What do you hope readers take away from Trial Run?

Thomas: Toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein said, 'The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all good science.'  That's what I've tried to instill here, and what I would love to hear that readers have discovered, a renewed sense awareness of the glorious mystery within life. 
Thomas Locke/Davis Bunn Hiking
My first Thomas Locke book, entitled Emissary, was released in early January of this year. The week before it was launched I received a really strong review from the national book club magazine. The reviewer then asked to speak with me by phone, and she revealed that she is going through chemotherapy. The lady then she thanked me for helping her to completely escape from herself for three days. She said what was greatest to her was that she came away from the book with a new sense of hope.  I have to tell you that is just about the finest response I have received in my twenty-plus years as a published writer.  And it is exactly what I hope other readers will find, a chance to fly away with this story as their personal magic carpet, and return to earth with a renewed sense of hope.

Nora: Emissary did whisk me away in to a fascinating world with characters I instantly cared for. Looking forward to reading the next installment out in December; titled Merchant of Alyss.

In your research for Trial Run did you come across any technology that was similar to and/or might be close to being created; similar to what you discuss in this novel?

Thomas: Absolutely. In the past six years, the study of human brains and thought patterns has seen more progress than in all the centuries up to now. New technologies that have become commonplace in hospitals and clinics, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has been redesigned to show what is happening inside a person's mind as they think or feel certain things. 'Reading' thoughts remains impossible, because the actual brainwave patterns are unique to each individual.  But the underlying trends are the same for all humanity. This has resulted in scientists being able to stimulate new 'trends', or primary brainwave patterns. They are now able to treat very serious issues, such as migraines, in some patients using these same non-invasive techniques.

Nora: Oh, wow. Amazing and scary!

What was your favorite scene in Trial Run? Which was the most fun to write? Why?

Thomas: Both of those questions have the same answer.  My first image, the concept that launched me into writing Trial Run, was the scene where Trent Major dreams his very first dream. That entire concept was written once and not changed at all, through all the redrafts and edits, the scene arrived full blown.  I can still see that image of the kid crouching by in that little concrete cave, with the neighbor's cat for company, and then bouncing into the classroom where he meets his older self.  In just four pages, we are introduced to a character, his vulnerabilities, and the future of where this book is headed.  It is a great scene.

Nora: That was fun to read. Kind of reminded me a little of a scene from Back to the Future. Grin!

Many sci-fi, fantasy stories lately are dark and hopeless. What do you hope readers glean from Trial Run that they won’t see in current main-stream fiction?

Thomas: This is a great question.  My first passion as a childhood reader was science fiction and fantasy.  So many of these stories imparted a sense of the heroic.  The challenges were massive, the vistas beyond the scope of normal life, and the characters rose up to become what was required in order to vanquish the threat. I still feel this helped shape my own sense of determination and hope.  And this is what I would like to offer readers today. 

Nora: Stories like Hunger Games and Insurgent do not leave the audience much hope of anything.  I really appreciate that aspect of your stories. You write incredibly creative adventure stories with hope!! It's a win, win. 

In Trial Run you reveal a dangerous, mind-bending technology that twists time in unexpected directions; perception and reality become entangled. How did you come up with this concept?

Thomas: My nephew and dear friend, Mason Matthews, is a theoretical physicist.  He has gone to great pains to introduce me to the world of quantum physics, which basically means spending hours dumbing down his life's work.  One issue he grapples with constantly, and which is increasingly becoming a topic of work and thought within his profession, is the link between the quantum world and human thought.  Our consciousness, at its core, does not seem to function according to what anyone would consider logical patterns.  The whole issue of time and causality are redefined at the level of thought and human emotions.  These conversations have expanded my own world enormously, and as a result I dedicated Trial Run to my incredibly intelligent – and patient – nephew.

Nora: That aspect of the story was fascinating!

Can you explain what “near-time sci-fi is and how you’ve used it in Trial Run?

Thomas: Maybe we should start with an example, such as Michael Chrichton's Jurassic Park.  Near-time sci-fi uses today's world, what is called a contemporary setting, and then takes technology that we know of right now, and carts it on around the bend of time.  The great thing about near-time sci-fi is, we establish characters and places in the world that everyone knows.  We're not off fighting aliens on Mars.  We're right here, right now.  This creates the challenge of maintaining a tight hold on reality, even while I'm bending and stretching this reality with a technology that doesn't exist.  Yet. 

Nora: Thanks for clearing that up. Grin!

This is a fast-paced, eventful novel, a page-turner for sure. How do you make sure you don’t give the reader too much at once? That you gave them time to breathe in between events – situations?

Thomas: This is another great question.  The issue you've raised here is crucial to good writing.  The reader needs to discover the story's events, and what they mean, in time to the characters.  This also offers the opportunity to mask the actual direction with false trails.  If the character believes and becomes emotionally invested in one thing, it needs to serve as a magnet for the audience.  Then at the end, the reader can look back and say, man, I never saw that coming.  What they don't say, but what is absolutely essential, is that, wow, this actually followed a completely logical course from page one. 

Nora:  You said, "the reader can look back and say, man, I never saw that coming" I felt this way several times! Grin!

Your characters struggle with what is real? Who is in control? What is control? What do you hope readers catch in their struggle? Relate to? What hope do you want them to leave with?

Thomas: (I really love these questions.) Government surveillance has become a huge issue.  It's now estimated that the average person in Great Britain, where we live, is caught on surveillance cameras over three hundred times each day.  As I started developing this story, I found myself repeatedly coming back to the issue of, where is this headed? What if there really is nothing off-limits from official scrutiny?  What if a new technology like this granted governments to spy on anything, and anyone, anywhere in the world?

The issue gathered a momentum all its own.  What if a shadow agency had the ability to create a total scrutiny?  Every conversation I had, or action I took, now and in the future.  All exposed.  What would happen to our society, and to the fabric of our very lives?

In Trial Run, a group operating as consultants to the federal government steal this experimental project in order to do just that.  They use this cutting-edge technology to obtain intelligence. The military supplies this group with test subjects, and their initial trials bring in some incredible results.  But at the moment of real success, a number of these subjects fall into a coma.  The military comes down hard and threatens to pull the plug.  The group is frantic to find a way to keep going, especially as the subjects who make it back are reporting abilities that go far beyond anything they might have expected. 

Nora: I like how you brought all this out and made readers think. Crazy to read about average people in Great Britain being caught on video 300 times per day. Oh, My!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?

Thomas: Ocean waves

There are so many types of weather which is your favorite? Which to you try to avoid?

Thomas: Favorite:  Light off-shore winds with a storm a thousand miles out to sea, drawing all the bad weather away and creating beautiful perfect crystal-clear waves.
Avoid:  Hurricanes.

Have you seen any good movies lately and/or read a book you won’t soon forget? Please share!

Thomas: Movies: I recently saw 'Live Die Repeat' again for the third time (bad joke).  Some of the violence was over the top.  But the concept was brilliant.  I thought it was the best acting I've seen in years from Tom Cruise. I am currently doing the interviews tied to the launch of Trial Run, and one of the program hosts this morning was going on and on about wanting to see Trial Run as a film starring Tom Cruise.  It was, to say the least, a great interview.

Nora: Fun!

Thomas: Books: This summer I started re-reading a number of classics that I have not picked up in years.  I just finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird.  Now I am reading The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.  Both were written around the same time-frame, and both hold such incredible insight into today's world.  

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

Thomas: Right now we are working on four different film projects.  Patience is required at so many levels, and with so many issues.  The gift in all this, the truly remarkable event, is how many of these people have become friends.  I am effectively trusting them with my life's work.  When I sign the contract, my role as creator, and all control that I've maintained up to this point, are handed to them.  Trusting this to friends who at least try to maintain my sense of vision is vital.

Thomas Locke/Davis Bunn and Nora FL 2015
Why not have more believers work in mainstream fiction and in Hollywood?  So long as we remain in our comfort zones, the trend taken by those in charge will be towards ever-darker themes.  It is the course we have seen for twenty years now, and it will continue until we make our voices heard.

Nora: It's exciting to hear about your film projects. I'm so glad you are in that arena giving the audience a great story with a powerful message with hope.

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN going on right Now at LAST DAY to Enter August 31st.

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! 
Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of AUGUST at .

REMINDER - Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows. The last day to enter this drawing is the last day of the month.



Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent
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Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers


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