Chase Madison's troubled life takes a most unexpected turn when he stumbles across the Caelans. They look like and act like us, but they are not from this planet. They’ve lived here for years, posing as people of Earth, hiding in plain sight by using a mental ability called 'psy' to maintain their secret identity. They have always been completely and utterly peaceful, their planet having eradicated anger long ago.
Something has recently changed among the Caelans, however. After more than 50 years of peace, anger has infected some of them—like a sickness—forcing all 939 to be quarantined here. And when they meet Chase, they discover something even more disturbing—he is unaffected by psy. His immunity to their power presents a serious security risk—causing them to follow him and monitor his whereabouts.
But little did they know that they would soon be asking Chase for his help, realizing that his immunity to psy was the one thing that could save them.
Join Chase on the adventure of his life as he makes wondrous discoveries, improbable friends, terrifying enemies, finds unexpected love, and begins to believe in himself—for the first time in his life.
Author Q & A
Q: What does ADHD have to do with the story?
A: Chase--the protagonist in the story--has ADHD. The challenges that the disorder presents is interwoven into the plot itself, and since the majority of the novel is told from his point of view it really gives the reader good insight into what it's like to deal with ADHD.
Q: Where did you get the idea to use ADHD in the plot?
A: The story is somewhat autobiographical. After I was diagnosed in 2008 I spent a lot of time coming to terms with the disorder and how it affected my life. My doctor—who has been a Godsend—not only helped me to understand myself, but helped me realize what a bullet I dodged being born into a family with good parents. The story is a little bit of a 'what if' scenario. What if I had dysfunctional parents? Imagine someone suffering from both ADHD and child abuse. That's a rough life.
Q: So the main character is like you, except with bad parents?
A: In a lot of ways, yeah, Chase is like me. In fact, a lot of the things he does, I've done in real life, and a lot the flashbacks from his past are real-life stories from my past.
Q: Do your parents know about this book? The message and the rest?
A: Sure, they know—they know I've been writing the book, but I don't think they have any idea what a difference they made in how I turned out. ADHD is incredibly misunderstood. Hopefully the book changes that.
Q: How exactly is ADHD misunderstood?
A: Anyone suffering from it knows what I mean. Most disorders or disabilities evoke sympathetic responses, for example, learning disabilities, hearing loss, speech impediments, even a broken arm or sprained ankle. But ADHD doesn't get that same sort of respect. Nobody likes being tuned out or interrupted, so we're left on a little bit of an island, socially. The symptoms are hard enough to live with, on their own, but the misunderstandings are probably the worst part.
Q: Does that happen to Chase? Misunderstandings and the like—in the story?
A: Yeah, but one of the biggest challenges I had in writing Chase was to make sure he didn't annoy the reader. I mean, you are supposed to sympathize with him, but how can you when he's interrupting everyone and walking away in the middle of someone talking? My friend Dave—who is also a writer—helped with my editing. He had to rein me in on more than one occasion, because even though a scene or plot element was realistic, Chase may have come off a little too annoying—which is the last thing I want. So I had to tone it down a little here and there.
Q: What exactly is the plot of the story?
A: Well, it's many things. Chase is an interesting and unique character on his own, but he's thrown into a very unusual situation. After discovering the truth—that "friendly" aliens have been living here for 50 some years—he quickly learns that they are in trouble. Big trouble. It turns out that he stumbled upon them at a very interesting time in their existence here on Earth. They're getting angry—which is a foreign emotion to them—and they don't know why. They're scared and confused.
Q: So is that the main plot? These aliens who are normally peaceful have now lost their way?
A: Yes. Aside from their technology they're not that much different from us. They look and act like us—it's allowed them to blend in here. But they are incredibly peaceful—normally. They don't understand how do deal with anger. That's sort of where Chase comes in. He's lived with negativity his whole life, so maybe he can help them figure things out.
Q: Your last book, The Dharma Revelation, dealt heavily with the good vs evil theme. Does The Angriest Angel also touch on good vs evil?
A: Yes, although Angel is not quite as heavy as Dharma, Angel does deal directly with good vs evil. Why are these guys getting angry, anyway? They are supposed to be completely peaceful. There is a reason for it, though, and it's kind of interesting.
Q: Can you explain the picture on the cover of the book?
A: It's essentially the scene in the prologue. The event which kicks off the entire plot is that these aliens—who live among us—are involved in a nasty car accident. One of them was critically injured, and the only way to save him was to summon a carina—their spaceship—to save him with their tech. The problem is that the craft is spotted, recorded, and uploaded to the internet before they could cover it up. Smartphones and YouTube really screwed up their secrecy—which of course feeds into their anger problem.
Q: Is it fair to say that anger is the underlying theme of the book, then?
A: It's a big theme, for sure, but actually love plays an even bigger role than anger in the story. Avery and Nathan are sort of the 'power couple' in the alien world. They're both really good looking, sophisticated, smart, and important—among their people. They become engaged early on, but Avery begins to develop feelings for Chase, in sort of a "beauty and the beast" way. She struggles mightily with those feelings as her heart and mind tell her two entirely different things.
Q: Interesting. So the trilogy is part sci-fi, part biographical, and part love story?
A: That's fair, yeah. I think it's important for it to be fun too. I write the way I like to read—easy, light, and entertaining, but also layered, so that some parts of the story will pop out and stick with you—when you least expect it.
Please check back for more Q & A as it becomes available, or if you have a question ask the author yourself!