Malcolm King is a journalist living in trendy Hove on the south coast of England. His days are taken up with video meetings and research on the internet while he writes articles for magazines around the world.
When a solar flare of unprecedented magnitude hits the Earth, effectively hurling us back to the stone age in a matter of hours, Malc is thrust into a terrifying new world as he travels the length of the country to find his young daughter.
Society, a fragile construct at best, shatters as the survivors fight each other for food and water, neighbour killing neighbour as fires rage through the cities, destroying much of what's left.
Faced with difficult choices at every turn, Malc draws his strength from those around him; Emily, a tough, no-nonsense soldier with a soft spot for lost causes and Jerry, a disgraced astrophysicist who may be the only person left who understands what's happening with the sun.
With their help, he must struggle to answer the ultimate question.
What won't he do to get his daughter back?
Today I have a mini-interview that I did with author Paul Grzegorzek about his book Flare! I can't lie - this book looks awesome and I can't wait to read it!!
Hi Paul! So nice to meet you!
First things first – you have three sentences – how would you explain Flare to someone?
Flare is a story about the collapse of society following a huge natural disaster, in this case a solar flare. Rather than being all "guts and guns", it centres around a main character, Malc, who is eminenently unsuited to the horrific new world he finds himself in as he crossed the UK on foot to find his young daughter. It's based in the UK, and it's been described as "a refreshing take on the genre".
Is this your only Doomsday/apocalyptic book?
It is, usually I write Brighton-based crime novels, but the sequel to Flare is on its way.
And I have to know – do you have a doomsday plan for when the horrible happens??
Yes, it involves pimms, lemonade, a flask of tea and probably some tuna sandwiches!
Are there any real life inspirations for the characters in Flare?
Yes, very much so but not specifically, if that makes sense? I wanted to write a story where the male lead was real, but not a stereotype or an action-bunny, and the female lead was the stronger character. I very much based him (Malc) on some of the academics I've known, and I based her (Emily) on several of the female police officers I worked with over the eyars.
Do you have any upcoming projects you could share with us?
Too many to list! The sequel to Flare, Winter, is about a fifth of the way towards complete, and I also have a crime novel, But For the Grace of God, which is with agents right now, and focuses on a main character who is battling heroin addiction while trying to solve a murder in Brighton.
What (after Solar Flares) do you think the next likely doomsday scenario might be?
You mean apart from Justin Bieber making a comeback? Probably an asteroid strike. I did a lot of research for Flare, and almost everything I learned about our solar system and near earth orbit scares the pants of me! There's so much whizzing about up there that I'm amazed we're still here.
How about some easy stuff – Favorites!
What is your favorite movie? End of Watch
Do you have a favorite book? The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Favorite travel destination? Turkey (Where my wife is from)
Favorite Food? Iste Kofte, a Turkish speciality the mother in law makes!
Favorite Super Hero? Always been a bit of a Batman fan…
Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me today – I had a lot of fun!!
Thanks, me too !