Author David Meyer is not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to doing research for his action/adventure thrillers. From searching for ancient Maya ruins to close encounters with sharks, his own adventures come close to rivaling that of Cy Reed, his lead character in Torrent. Today we talk to David about his fascination with ancient architecture, designing his own book covers and what we can expect from him in the future.
Please give us a short introduction to Torrent.
Torrent is an action/adventure thriller, perfect for fans of Indiana Jones and Dirk Pitt. It follows Cy Reed, a renowned treasure hunter and salvage expert, as he hunts down the deadly secrets of a lost Maya vault.
What fascinates you about the pyramids and other ancient architecture?
I love the endless mystery of ancient structures and incorporated that love into Torrent. Despite many years of study, even the most well-known ancient buildings still hold secrets that are waiting to be discovered.
Your book contains a lot of information about Mayan culture. How much research did you have to do about the subject?
Plenty, much of which was gained on the ground. Awhile back, I spent a couple of weeks in Central America, trekking through Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize in search of ancient Maya ruins. It was a memorable trip, full of adventure. In Guatemala, our vehicle smashed into a police car in front of a military outpost. The driver was hauled off to jail and I needed stitches to close up my leg. A few days later, I got bit while swimming with sharks in Belize. And not long after that, I bogged down on a swampy jungle road late at night, the sounds of eerie jaguar calls ringing in my ears. Now, those exact experiences didn’t make it into Torrent. But in many ways, they formed the spirit of the book.
If people hear about the combination of treasure hunting and ancient civilizations they immediately think Indiana Jones. Did you have to focus on making Cy Reed distinctive from the famed archeologist or is this not something that factored into your writing process?
While Cy Reed is quite different from Indiana Jones, I didn’t plan it that way. It happened through the natural creative process. Like Indiana, he started out his career in archaeology (specifically, urban archaeology). But that’s where the similarities end. After a tragic accident at his first major dig, he abandoned the field. Taking up work as a treasure hunter, he came to see archaeology in a much darker light. But since he’s often driven by profit, he still works with archaeologists from time to time, namely as an extreme salvage expert.
An extreme salvage expert? What’s that?
A typical salvage archaeologist works ahead of new construction, racing to save artifacts from bulldozers. Cy and his friends do similar work, but they focus on artifacts that are in extreme danger. They work in war zones, amidst natural disasters … basically, the worst kind of situations this planet has to offer.
Changing topics for a moment, what made you decide to design your own covers for your books?
Cover design gives me a chance to explore my creativity in new ways. I’m especially proud of the Torrent cover. The vivid colors, the dangerous sky … even the lettering is special if you look close enough.
I see what you mean! Speaking of dangerous, Torrent is a real page-turner that keeps the reader engaged throughout the book. How did you pull that off?
I don’t use outlines. It’s much more fun to surprise myself. After all, if I don’t know what happens next, then neither will my readers!
Did you ever have a single defining moment where you suddenly realized: "Now I'm an Author," as in - this has become your career?
I’ve got two moments like that. A number of years ago, I worked on Wall Street, miserable to the core. I’d always wanted to be a storyteller, but a series of choices had taken my life in a decidedly different direction. After much thought, I quit my job and set forth, determined to make it as a writer. In the process, I threw away a promising career and years of pricy education. It was a crazy decision and I was embarrassed about it at the time. But that was the moment when I knew there was no going back.
The second moment came a few years later when I published my second book, Ice Storm. It plodded along for two weeks and then, without warning, shot up the charts in the United Kingdom. It was my first breakout and that was when I knew I’d truly made it.
Which of the Ancient Wonders of the World would have been on the top of your list to visit, and why?
Definitely the Colossus of Rhodes. I love giant statues and I’ve dreamed of seeing that one since I was a kid. As for the surviving Wonders, I’ve visited the remains of the Temple of Artemis and the Great Pyramid is on my list. But I’m fascinated by all of the Ancient Wonders so don’t be surprised if they show up in future Cy Reed novels!
Of all lost treasures out there, which one fascinates you the most and why?
I’m currently working with a well-known production company to create a television show based on one of my all-time favorite mysteries. So unfortunately, I can’t really talk about it. But I’m pretty much a sucker for any lost treasure that comes with a good story.
What types of books do you enjoy reading? Who are your favorite authors?
I read all sorts of books across many different genres. Some of my favorite authors are actually cartoonists like Chester Gould, Al Capp, Milton Caniff, and Alex Raymond. Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy is an astonishing creation when you think about it. His stories, told via a couple of panels per day, often lasted for months on end. The difficulty of holding attention spans for that length of time is off the charts. And yet, he did it for decades.
What are you working on right now?
Lots of stuff. In general, I’m looking to expand my various fictional universes, including the Cy Reed Universe, into new mediums. Graphic novels, film, video games, cartoons, and more. In terms of fiction, I don’t plan ahead. So, I’m not always sure if it’s going to be a Cy Reed book or something else until I’m into it. That being said, my latest work-in-progress appears to be a brand new series, set in a crazy and extremely unique post-apocalyptic setting.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
FEATURED AUTHOR - Katherine D. Graham is a fantasy author, developmental editor, and Top-10 Reedsy Reviewer. Her debut Epic Fantasy novel, The Vow That Twisted Fate (July 2021), is a 5-star Indie Reader Approved novel, and one of five fantasy finalists in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Katherine is happily married to her high-school sweetheart (her Hero). Together they have two awesome sons and three adorable fur-daughters. Katherine loves reading, writing, swimming, traveling, grilling out, and… Read more