Interview with Jack Eadon, author of Latent Image
edited: Tuesday, January 01, 2008
By Irene Watson
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2007
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When Marcus Ramsay left his strange experience in Texas, his marriage was nearly on the rocks. He and his wife moved to California for her new job and his new career as an advertising photographer and owner of a large studio. At the outset of “Latent Image,” Marcus is surprised when his wife Kathy says she wants a divorce. Marcus is encouraged by his new studio neighbor to risk it all and parlay his new lighting style into a burgeoning business. But unknown to Marcus, photographers envious of his new lighting techniques, are already scheming to undermine his new venture. Within a few days, he simultaneously has his studio vandalized and meets hand model Jesse Dasher, who is obviously quite enamored of him. In fact, she soon invites him to her place where they have a romantic nighttime swim in her apartment pool. Marcus cuts the episode short, however, when memories of his former marriage return.
Interview with Jack Eadon
Eloquence Press (2005)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (10/06)
Reader Views talks again with author Jack Eadon. Jack converses about the second edition of his highly-acclaimed sequel “Latent Image.” Interview conducted by Juanita Watson, Assistant Editor of Reader Views.
Juanita: Jack, it is great to have the chance to talk with you once again. Today, we would like to focus on your book, “Latent Image (2nd Edition), another in your “American Drama Series.” Would you tell us the storyline of this book?
Jack: In my sequel, Marcus Ramsay has moved to California, gets divorced, and opens an advertising photography studio. A band of veteran photographers seek to undermine his efforts with flagrant vandalism. Still reeling from his divorce and having been fired from his corporate job in Texas, he seeks to regain his studio and position in the Orange County photography community. His model friend, Jesse, invites him to meet her twin sister Suzanne, who is a Grand Canyon park ranger and believer in the Hopi tradition, particularly as it relates to healing after loss. Marcus goes to visit Suzanne for a magical four days and gets “healed” from his losses. On his return, he is greeted by a surprise regarding Jesse and Suzanne. He returns to Grand Canyon to once and for all resolve his ongoing loss in a dramatic way.
Juanita: What did you change in this new second edition?
Jack: The second edition of Latent Image has been changed throughout. First of all, the cover was dramatically changed; photographer QT Luong’s beautiful shot of the Grand Canyon and my “light painted” studio shot of two tulips work together to make a wonderful cover. The inside chapter-heads, font, and text have been changed so the book has a new look completely. Some of the prose was tightened up, too. It’s really a nice book.
Juanita: Now, “Latent Image” is actually the sequel to your book “A Consequence of Greed.” Would you give readers a little background into the story that takes place in “A Consequence of Greed” that leads up to your new book?
Jack: In “A Consequence of Greed,” my character Marcus has been transferred to a Texas division of Allied Foods to turn the struggling business around. He does that and is ruthlessly fired for his troubles. That sets the stage for his leaving Texas and the pain and resolution of that firing. In many ways the book is fiction-based-on-fact but can stand on it’s own with or without A CONSEQUENCE OF GREED.
Juanita: What is it about your lead character Marcus Ramsay that has you compelled to carry his life into another book?
Jack: In GREED, Marcus, like I did, gets a moral victory, which is very satisfying. But, it isn’t enough. I wanted him to survive his setbacks in a new venue and conquer that. The scheming cadre of photographers are wonderfully evil antagonists for Marcus. But, the extent to which he must conquer his losses and prevail is the challenge of the book.
Juanita: Ramsay has serious business and personal issues in the beginning of “Latent Image.” Would you tell us about these significant issues he’s struggling with?
Jack: Because Marcus has just been fired, he is weakened by that loss; I can personally identify with that feeling. He also gets divorced at his wife’s bequest—not real. He is really down though. Further, the evil cadre of photographers makes his new job harder and it really looks like he won’t succeed. The fact that he even tries is amazing. But he does, as did I.
Juanita: Where does his perseverance come from?
Jack: I think it’s an inner sort of confidence that drives him through all the failure of a job loss into the success in a new venue. More importantly, there’s a quiet acceptance and learning from his grief. It may sound corny, but he really matures and learns about a life he always had, but never saw. It may sound cornier when I say, that’s what I ultimately got out getting fired. I went from a “suit” to a “shooter” and now I’m a writer, and I sort of like the who I have become!
Juanita: Now, Ramsay meets a woman who is set on helping him get through his problems. Would you tell us more about this woman, and the subsequent meeting of her sister?
Jack: When Marcus meets Jesse, her attraction to him is obvious. She is scraggly and actually not that attractive, but he inspires her to rise above her own insecurities. Most of those insecurities stem from her own great loss. He learns in the process that we can get a lot from giving.
Juanita: How do you weave the Hopi Indian lore into the story?
Jack: When Marcus meets Jesse’s sister, Suzanne, he learns to face his pain and, as they are falling in love, she walks him through an ancient Hopi ceremony to rid himself of the loss that has taken him over.
Juanita: Why did you decide to use the Grand Canyon and Hopi traditions to your story?
Jack: The original story was set in Orange County. Grand Canyon was nearby and a step out of the reality of everyday life. It was easy, romantic, and mystical.
Juanita: Jack, how much of your own experience did you draw on for this novel, and what type of research did you do?
Jack: I really drew upon many of the feelings of loss and rebirth I went through as I changed careers, sort of reinventing myself in the process. I even struck up a relationship with a Hopi Indian Princess to learn about Hopi beliefs. She even talked me through quiet meditation. There was my reality, indeed, but I expanded on many of the feelings I actually had. I actually still marvel that this book sprung from my own experiences. I love reading it, even now, and find myself wanting to drift into the part I invented for Marcus Ramsay and pretend it all really happened! It’s all very cinematic and believable!
Juanita:Is this the last we will hear about Marcus Ramsay?
Jack: Probably not. He makes an appearance in my book The Armstrong Solution, which exists in the same story time as Latent Image, but is told from Kathy Armstrong’s perspective. There are may more surprises for the Ramsay couple as I move along with my American Drama Series! That book is featured in my next newsletter and you folks have already reviewed it.
Juanita: Yes, we have, and it’s a wonderful read! What is the underlying message that you convey in your novel “Latent Image”?
Jack: Not to spoil a reason to buy the book, but its theme is that we must honor grief and loss as a truly important part of our lives, because both fuel us to move on . . . and live life richly being fulfilled all the while.
Juanita: You’ve dedicated this book to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Would you elaborate on this and the inspiration you draw on from “The Great Gatsby”?
Jack: I think that my mentor F. Scott Fitzgerald taught me the importance of drawing character in a realistic way and Latent Image does that. Not only that, but the settings—the Grand Canyon and Orange County, CA were well documented and vivid. Also the plot structure, which I dare not comment on, is quite complex and fulfilling as is that of The Great Gatsby, and it has a nice surprise, so much so that those who have read the book keep talking about it afterward and, on a word of mouth basis, want me to write a sequel to this sequel!
Juanita: Jack, I’ve read that out of all the novels you’ve written, “Latent Image” is your favorite. Would you comment on this?
Jack: Sure. When I finished the book it was about the time I finished my eighth summer at The University of Iowa, some believe is the finest writing school in the world AND I was teaching writing at the College of DuPage outside Chicago. So, it was an important juncture for me and represented a time when all the forces were coming together as it were. It’s some of my best writing!
Juanita: How can readers find out more about “Latent Image (2nd Edition)” and your other books?
Jack: They can go to my main web site, Eadonbooks.com
Juanita: Jack, it has been great talking with you once again. We encourage readers to check out “Latent Image” and your many other fantastic books. Do you have any other thoughts for readers today?
Jack: Just that as you go through life, be happy and take responsibility for making yourself and others happy. That is what the Buddha said two thousand years ago was our true purpose on this earth . . . and I believe it! But you also must be honest, for that makes your love predictable to others.
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