If you relish suspense thrillers with a tinge of conspiracy, you will enjoy Sally Fernandez’ novels. Readers have said she pens riveting plots of intrigue and political awakening, seamlessly blending fact with fiction…or fiction with fact…you be the judge.
As a novelist of provocative political thrillers steeped in facts, she wasn’t always twisting facts with fiction. Heavily endowed with skills acquired in banking, she embarked on her writing career. Fernandez’ focus on computer technology, business consulting, and project management, enhanced by business and technical writing, proved to be a boon. Her books of fiction also reflect the knowledge garnered from her business experiences, while living in New York City, San Francisco, and Hong Kong.
Sally’s foray into writing fiction officially began in 2007 when the presidential election cycle was in full swing. The overwhelming political spin by the media compelled her to question the frightening possibilities the political scene could generate. As a confirmed political junkie, she took to the keyboard armed with unwinding events and discovered a new and exciting career.
The Beekeeper’s Secret, the latest release with multiple five-star reviews, is Sally’s sixth novel and the second in the “Max Ford Thriller” series. It is preceded by the Award-Winning Climatized, soon to be a major motion picture, featuring Maxine Ford as the female protagonist. Her prior series, “The Simon Tetralogy,” is comprised of Brotherhood Beyond the Yard, Noble’s Quest, The Ultimate Revenge and Redemption. Each book provides an exhilarating platform for the next, with a gripping narrative that challenges the reader to put the book down. Her development of the other characters has created a lasting bond between them and the reader, especially now that Max has taken center stage.
A world traveler, Sally has visited every continent and over fifty countries. Her adventure travels with her husband include a scientific expedition in Antarctica, four African safaris, archaeological digs in Majorca and Peru, along with high-altitude treks in Bhutan, Tibet, and Mongolia. Sally and her husband, also the content editor-in-residence, continue to travel extensively throughout the world.
In short, The “Max Ford Thriller” series is simply the must read series of the year. The characters, and how it storyline blends fact with fiction makes the series an all out page-turner.
We had a chance to catch up with Sally for an exclusive interview and this is what she shared up with us:
You have described yourself as a political junkie, which given your choice of genres is probably extremely helpful. But going from Political junkie to bestselling author is no small leap. What made you decide to sit down and start writing?
As you noted, I’m political junkie by nature and have always trusted the words of Pericles, who said, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” The writing part…well that was a fluke. It started years after leaving the corporate world. Actually, it was in 2008, while my husband Joe and I were living in Florence, Italy, and the U.S. presidential campaign was in full swing. The incessant news reports from both sides of the pond had my head spinning, at which point, Joe suggested I put my thoughts on paper instead of ranting about the insanity of it all. That’s how it all started.
So, instead of writing scintillating technical manuals and page-turning strategic business plans, I took up the challenge and ventured into the world of political thrillers. Utilizing both my conspiratorial mind and love of research, I discovered a new and exciting career.
While Pericles shaped my genre, my style of writing is attributed to the words of another luminary, Francis Bacon, who said, “The truth is hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” Therefore, I weave facts about contemporary issues that face us all with a fictional plot. The endgame is to impart knowledge while at the same time engage the reader is a fast-paced thriller.
The most surprising development was that I had discovered a latent creative talent waiting to escape. Throughout my enormously successful career in technology and project management in the financial industry, I never had a desire, nor would I even know how to begin to write a novel. Funny, as I now work on my seventh novel, it seems as though I’ve been a novelist all my life.
Climatized is the first book in the Max Ford Thriller series and weave climate change into it in a rather a unique and riveting way. What inspired you to focus on climate change and weave it into this compelling thriller?
In my earlier series, “The Simon Tetralogy” I touched on the issue of Agenda 21, a non-binding treaty the was developed in conjunction with the United Nations. It dealt with sustainable development which encompassed global warming, cheered on by Al Gore. I had questions about the validity of the statements that were being bantered and I ended up following the money. Not a pretty picture, but you have to read my novel The Ultimate Revenge! By 2015, the term Global Warming had morphed into Climate Change, reportedly a phenomenon that cannot be challenged. The topic was still front and center, in fact, it was so hot that it was left out of the dining room along with religion and politics. So when I decided to create a new series to give my Maxine Ford character a stage of her own, I took a different tack and began to follow the science.
What was fascinating about the project is that I incorporated real scientist into my storyline. Unlike my previous novels, I paired up my fictional characters with real organizations and real-life experts. So after the manuscript was completed, I set out to make contact with the various scientists to explain what I had done. One of my experts was Dr. Hal Doiron, Chairman of The Right Climate Stuff research team comprised of former Apollo astronauts, scientists and engineers. Hal and other members of his research team agreed to review the manuscript. Needless to say, I was thrilled at their willingness to read and fact-check. It turned out to be a remarkable collaboration. From their meticulous details, explanations, suggestions, and corrections, it was clear they had devoted the time and interest to read the manuscript thoroughly. Hal’s review of the book was so eloquent that it became the Foreword.
This collaboration offered me an opportunity to speak to a group of NASA veterans at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. I remember I opened my talk by saying that giving a presentation is not rocket science, but imparting information to a group of rocket scientists was quite daunting. However, once I got over my two seconds of stage fright, I was warmly received as they listened intently to my explanation of the misnomers of anthropogenic global warming.
Maxine Ford is one of my all-time favorite protagonists. She is brilliant, complicated, strong, and yes vulnerable. If the two of you could spend some time together do you think you two would be friends? What would you all do to have some fun?
Absolutely, after all she is my alter ego, my wannabee kick-ass spy within. I think sleuthing together would be great and then again, just sharing a glass of wine so I can pick her brain. Oh, wait a minute, I am her brain.
We heard that Climatized is being made into a film, what is that process like for you?
It is clearly a learning process in progress. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a great writing team that include: Noam Dromi, Emmy-Award winner and writer for the film Dolphin Tale that grossed $100 million in the box office and producer for Walking Dead: Red Machete; Evan Greene, former Chief Marketing Officer for The Recording Studio that produces the Grammys, and Ren Trella an actress and writer, known for Moral Inventory, Off the Field and Big Nick Film. Our producer Stuart Pollok was producer and production manager, for Flightplan, Into the Grizzly Maze and Black Dog. Currently, our script is close to the final polishing stage and a list of likely directors has been compiled. I’m learning about the roles each play, along with investors, contracts, and sales agents. And as executive director, I’m learning patience. It is a slow process but our target date is early 2022.
Covid-19 has been challenging for most of us. Did it have an effect on your writing, and will it find its way into any of your upcoming books?
The positive effect is that sheltering in place has given me the time to be extremely productive as I work on my next Max Ford Thriller. The major thrust of the story has Max battling those attempting to create a One World Government. Steps toward socialism, a pandemic, anarchy in the streets and the cancel culture in full force all play into what I believe is a riveting plot.
I understand that you are planning a Climate Change Symposium. What is that all about?
As I mentioned I’m working on my seventh novel. Each storyline tackles contemporary political issues that face our society. But somehow Climate Change is a continuing theme and a theme that is little understood by many. So, my digital marketer and I decided to assemble a panel of experts to place the issue of Climate Change under the microscope and separate the rhetoric from the science. Keiser University in West Palm Beach has graciously donated their facility. And we are incredibly honored to have amazing scientists join our panel to include: Walter Cunningham, Astronaut; Dr. William Happer, American Physicist; Larry Bell, Space Architecture; Dr. Jay Lehr, Geological Engineer; Tom Wysmuller, NASA Meteorologist; and myself as the Bestselling Author of the book Climatized and, of course, the layperson. Malcolm, founder of America Out Loud Network will be the moderator. Assuming life will be back to normal, the Climate Change Symposium, an all-day event, scheduled for March 12, 2021 and we anticipate upwards of 500 attendees to include students from surrounding universities and local citizens. We are currently in the process of obtaining sponsorships for the event.
For More information on Sally Fernandez check out her website by visiting https://sallyfernandez.com