18 November 2014

Author Q&A Session #3: With Ted Galdi

In an all new Author Q&A Session, I present you the author whose plots are so vivid that you can almost take a trip inside the story land. Ted Galdi, author of his debut book, Elixir, which is based on the most deadly disease killing America right at the moment, is here to talk about Ebola, his passions and his thrilling journey being a writer. So grab a mug of coffee and scroll down to know more about this amazing author.

Read the review of the book, Elixir, here.


Me: Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to have an Author Q&A Session on my blog and I wish you a very warm welcome Ted. Well, your book, Elixir is quite talked about book in the Good Reads community. So tell me briefly about Elixir and what's all this hype about surrounding the book?
Ted: Thanks for having me, Aditi.  You have a cool blog, and I’m happy to be on it.  Elixir is a story about Sean Malone, a brilliant teenager who’s trying to cure his girlfriend of Ebola before it’s too late; while doing so, he has to evade some evil people from the NSA and a multi-billion-dollar drug company.  Readers have been enjoying its suspense and twists, however, at the book’s core is a coming-of-age teenage love story, which makes it unique from a typical thriller.

 Me: I clearly remember, when I read your book, or rather say when you released the review copies of your book, Ebola did not effect United States at least. So how did you get the idea to show Ebola as the next most deadly disease in the world in Elixir?

The whole tie-in to Ebola is pretty interesting from a timing perspective.  When I first started writing Elixir – over a year and a half ago – there was no major Ebola outbreak in real life, and most people in the US were unfamiliar with the disease.  When I was deciding which illness I wanted Natasha, Sean’s girlfriend, to catch, I researched a handful of different ones.  Ebola wound up being a good fit for the plot since it is extremely deadly and works extremely fast, two tension builders for a suspense story.
Within a few weeks of Elixir being released, Ebola started making headlines, which was a very strange coincidence.  Since I had to do a lot of research on the disease, I personally know how dangerous it is, and am hoping the US government continues pushing ahead to find a worldwide solution.  If Elixir can help spread awareness about the disease, and continue moving public opinion toward government involvement, it would be great.

Me: I can honestly say that you're a well-researched and a very skillful author. Because the way you have shown this whole story along with this deadly disease with such vividness, it only sounds like you've seen the whole situation from your own eyes. They say that author's words are just meagerly his experiences in his life! Is that true?

Thanks for the compliment, Aditi.  Luckily though, I don’t have any first-hand experience with Ebola or any disease like it.  As mentioned, I did a lot of research on the virus for the book, so the symptoms and quarantine process in the story are very authentic.  In addition, in all parts of the book – even the ones not involving Ebola – vividness of description was important to me.  For a suspense story, sensory details of images, sounds, feelings, etc, can really help draw readers into the action.  In good thrillers, the level of description is deep and vivid throughout, even during parts where the actual “thrills” aren’t occurring.  Sometimes a scene involving two people sitting around and drinking coffee can be more suspenseful than a car chase…if enough attention is paid to the description.  

Me: So your book falls in the science-fiction genre? Because you came up with the proper cure of Ebola and with Sean's IQ, which are very surreal and we can only hope that the proper cure for Ebola is invented sooner and faster.

Elixir falls into many genres: thriller, young adult, romantic suspense, coming of age, and yes, science fiction.  That being said, the science-fiction genre is typically known for worlds that are much different than the known real-life world (hallmark elements of course include deep-space travel, time machines, aliens, parallel dimensions, etc). 
Though Elixir features something that doesn’t exist in modern life (an Ebola cure), outside of that, it takes place in a world that is no different than the world we live in today.  Sean, the protagonist in the book, is supposed to have an IQ of about 250, which is theoretically humanly possible (though extremely rare).  A person with an IQ of 250 likely could solve complicated science problems that have yet to be cracked, such as curing Ebola.  I like to think of Elixir as a slight stretch on modern reality, as opposed to a story that operates in a world completely foreign to the one we live in today.

Me: Who or what is your inspiration behind your successful writing career? I mean what made you choose this path to literary world rather than sticking to your family business, or was it always your one true dream to be a writer?

I’ve always loved writing, even as a kid.  My whole life I thought of it as a passion, as opposed to a way to make money.  After college I started a software company, and had a full-time job in the software industry while writing Elixir at night.  Since I enjoy writing so much, I don’t consider it “work.”

Me: So that means you don't get much time to unwind. So how do you unwind yourself or are you terribly busy with your next project?

I think it’s critical for authors to step away from their projects and unwind.  This isn’t important for just the social lives of writers, but for the books they’re working on too.  All good books are able to capture a level of authenticity among their characters.  If writers don’t regularly interact with other people socially, and instead just “live inside their own heads,” authenticity of characters can suffer, since the author’s writing will be rooted in shadows of human interaction, as opposed to human interaction itself.

Also, when an author is out socially, I don’t think every conversation with another person should be probed as “potential story material.”  On the weekend, go out, enjoy yourself, and don’t think about your current book or the next one.
As for what to do other than that, there isn’t a universal answer; it should have to do with the personal interests of the writer.  If you like wine tasting, grab some friends and hit a local winery.  If you like going to Vegas…go to Vegas.

Me: You live in California, so that means you've great opportunity to market your book, considering the fact that you live near the Tinsel Town, so will you say 'yes' to some director/producer if he/she wants to buy the film rights of your book, since your book has got all the elements to get turned into a major block-buster Hollywood action flick?

Elixir has only been out as a book for a couple months, and I’m currently very focused on marketing it as a book.  That being said, someday, yes, it would be awesome if it were made into a movie. 

Me: Are we expecting another adventure of Sean on your next book, moreover Elixir is simply a standalone book, since you did not left your readers with any sort of cliff-hanger? But considering the fact that Sean got quite a lot of popularity among your readers, so can we expect to meet Sean again in your next book?

I would definitely consider a sequel, involving Sean and many of the other characters, however, since Elixir does come to a clear resolution at the end, a sequel wouldn’t involve a continuation of the original conflict, but would throw the characters into a new adventure, with Sean of course still at the core.

Me: Ted, from reading your book, it's quite evident that you are quite a talented author, and you certainly have a long-way to go. So where do you see yourself 10years from now? And is writing books your sole-profession?

Writing has always been my passion.  I have a lot of different interests, and am currently involved with a few businesses.  In ten years, I’m sure I’ll be involved with a few more.  However, since I love writing so much, I see it as always being a part of my life going ahead, regardless of anything else I have happening.

Me: Ted, thank you so much for sparing time to have this interview. I can only wish you all the best in all your future endeavors.

Thanks again Aditi.  Great questions.  It was fun answering them.  Readers, if you want to check out Elixir, here’s the link to the Amazon page (paperback and Kindle copies both available, with the e-book version free for Kindle Unlimited members): Amazon


Ted's Bio:

Ted Galdi is the author of the bestselling novel Elixir, which he published at the age of twenty-nine. He's a graduate of Duke University and lives in Los Angeles. Ted has been featured by ABC and FOX television, iHeartRadio, Examiner, and many other media outlets. 
To learn more about him, check out his interviews, and receive updates about releases and special events before anyone else, visit his official website at www.tedgaldi.com

Connect With Ted On:   Email



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