Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: SciFi/Action Author, L.D.C. Fitzgerald

L.D.C. Fitzgerald, Co-Author
L.D.C. Fitzgerald, Co-Author

Those of us alive at the time of the assassination of John F. Kennedy remember exactly what we were doing when we learned of his murder. We also remember the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Warren Commission’s conclusions. In SAVING JACKIE K, L.D.C. Fitzgerald rewrites the event and combines fact and fiction to tell about an attempt on First Lady Jackie Kennedy's life and those who travel back in time to try to prevent it.  

The author, devoted fan of the late President Kennedy and the First Lady, wrote the novel to entertain, but also to create a sense of “what if.” Oh, and if  you're confused about the identification of the author, you'll find the answer in a response to one of the following questions.

 Don’t miss the excerpt from SAVING JACKIE K and the chance to win an Amazon gift certificate at the end of this interview.

Q: What led you to write a thriller that rewrites a prominent historical event? 

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: Although most people alive today hadn't been born at the time of the JFK assassination, it remains a topic of fascination. Any mention of the Kennedy Conspiracy will inevitably spark debate—most people seem to have an opinion on what happened that day in Dealey Plaza. And, as the fiftieth anniversary looms on November 22, 2013, the dialogue will likely intensify.

The idea for the story was inspired by a B-movie from 2000 where a man from the future goes back in time and prevents the assassination. I thought the concept was a great idea, but wanted to twist it on its head.

Q: One of your reviewers praised the author’s “blend of fact and fiction.” How important was backstory to creating credibility and getting readers involved?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: Backstory was extremely important in two respects. First, I needed to create histories for the fictional characters and the fictional world. I wanted to make an alternate reality that was dire enough to compel the team to want to travel back in time and change it. And, I wanted each of the characters to be motivated on a personal level.

Second, since the JFK Conspiracy happened fifty years ago, I needed to inform readers about the people involved and the events leading up to the assassination. The tricky part was to weave the fact and fiction together to tell a story. The factual components of the narrative adhere to the official record of what happened in Dealey Plaza in 1963, and the events leading up to the tragedy. The particularly difficult part was to create motives for why the real-life historical figures acted the way they did. For example, how and why was Lee Harvey Oswald involved? Why did he murder a police officer 45 minutes after the assassination?

Q: Is it just a coincidence that your last name is Fitzgerald?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: Great question! I will let you in on a little secret—Saving Jackie K was actually written by two people! For simplicity, my coauthor and I wanted one author name, and we chose “Fitzgerald” to honor President Kennedy’s middle name. The initials of the pen name—L.D.C.—are ours: my initials are L.D. and my coauthor’s are D.C.

Q: Did you write SAVING JACKIE K to entertain or to educate? Or to make us think “what if?” Did you want to deliver a message?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: Without a doubt, my primary goal was to entertain. I want readers to have fun!

That said, it’s an interesting and informative topic, and I hope the book sparks thought and debate. It’s intriguing to speculate “what if,” and I got a chance to explore those scenarios when writing.

Q: What makes readers care about your characters?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: The heroes of my novel all have strong personalities, each with his or her own character flaws. So they butt heads and argue quite a bit as they are planning the mission for Saving Jackie K. But deep down, they each have a personal motive that propels them forward, and makes them vulnerable.

In spite of their faults, throughout the novel, the characters develop a deep affection for each other, and fierce protectiveness of each other. Ultimately, they want to right the wrongs of the past, and they relentlessly work together to make that happen.

I’m hoping that readers cheer for the team’s successes, and mourn their failures along the way.

Q: What are the characteristics of your heroes? Of your villains?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: The heroes of Saving Jackie K are stubborn, loyal, self-reliant, dedicated, and feisty. They all have a strong moral compass, and feel a righteous obligation to change the past for the better. However, one feels that the “ends justify the means.”

The main villain is the mastermind behind the plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Equally powerful as evil, this antagonist stops at nothing to achieve personal objectives, offering up innocent people as pawns and scapegoats.

Q: Tell us something about yourself.  Are you an historian by trade? Are you thinking about writing other “what ifs”, such as, what would the U.S. be like if Lincoln had not been assassinated?

L.D.C. Fitzgerald: My coauthor and I are admirers of President Kennedy. He ushered in the space race, established the Peace Corps, prevented war with Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and delivered moving speeches promoting racial inequality during a time when bombings and hate crimes ran rampant.

We are also fans of his wife, Jackie K. A First Lady of class and grace, Jackie was beautiful, refined, and highly regarded as a fashion icon. An educated woman fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian, Mrs. Kennedy dazzled the French by speaking in their native tongue during a diplomatic visit. Jackie also initiated and managed the first full-scale renovation of the White House in over a hundred years.

Although we are not historians by trade, we enjoyed studying the Kennedys and the JFK Conspiracy over the past decade.

We are kicking around ideas for our next “what if” adventure with the same team of heroes. Who knows? We may have them interfere with Columbus discovering America!

About L.D.C. Fitzgerald

L.D.C. Fitzgerald is the author of blockbuster novel, SAVING JACKIE K, a thrilling adventure to save the First Lady. In writing a story with an unexpected twist on the Kennedy Conspiracy, Fitzgerald relentlessly researched the facts regarding the JFK assassination, and wove them into a fictional world. The author even consulted with renowned conspiracy experts, and scouted the hallowed grounds in Dallas.

Where does the fact end and the fiction begin?
"Everything in my novel is true, except the stuff I made up." - L.D.C. Fitzgerald.

The First Lady in Danger?
Jump into the past to save her!

Enter an upside-down world where Soviet henchmen botched their mission to eliminate John F. Kennedy fifty years ago, slaying his wife Jackie instead. The unthinkable crime incites Americans and triggers an unending war with Russia.

In present day, as the two superpowers teeter on the brink of mutual destruction, a team of outlaws discovers a way to jump through time. The wisecracking felons decide to take matters into their own hands by traveling back to 1963 to save Jackie K. To fix the future, they must right the wrongs of the past.

But, their mission may go awry . . .

(Formerly titled Destination Dealey.)


Chapter One
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

5:59 pm – EDT

Sera Banks clambered up the rungs on the side of the Chamber, a six-foot diameter aluminum-coated sphere resembling an enormous fishbowl. Dropping into its hollow core, she crammed herself and the bulky parcel on her back next to the petite frame of her mentor, once renowned physicist Dr. Iggy Mikos. She grasped the handle on the hatch and creaked it closed, enveloping them in darkness. “He’s coming. Punch it!”

Iggy stabbed at backlit buttons on each end of the Converter, a twelve-inch-long barbell-like device with a handhold in the middle. Her finger slipped. Patience. Feeding on Sera’s impetuousness could get them both killed. She steeled herself and counted off the memorized sequence. “Here we go!” They strapped on oxygen masks, and she entered the final keystroke.

A blinding flash of light and a deafening roar consumed the Chamber. The two scientists shrieked in agony before passing out.

6:00 pm – EDT

Captain Drew Sutherland sliced his access card through the magnetic reader to unlock the door and rushed into the lab, mouth agape. He circled inside the customary shabbiness of the blistered ocher walls, observing cracked lab benches cluttered with wires, circuits, and tools. Equipment hummed, while a familiar ionized smell permeated the air. All the apparatus for the project were present, but the researchers were absent. His decreasing spirals propelled him to the obvious destination, the shiny orb dead center of the warped linoleum floor. Cupping his palm on the convex surface, Sutherland flinched. The alloy blazed with heat. He stepped up on the ladder and heaved the hatch open with a massive forearm. The empty brass interior gleamed back at him in the fluorescent glare. He rubbed the back of his military buzz cut. Where could they be?

6:01 pm – EDT

Hurtling through the sky two miles west of the lab at thirty thousand feet, Iggy woke with a start, the Converter lashed to her left hand. Freezing wind roared in her face, numbing her as she gasped into the mask. Of all the luck—displacement must have triggered a blackout. Struggling to orient herself with respect to gravity, she waited the requisite number of seconds and then pulled the ripcord. The parachute billowed out. Snap! She felt the sensation of being jerked upward by an unseen entity.


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