By Don Helin
In his debut novel The Ocean Dark, Jack Rogan writes a novel so thrilling that a Who’s Who of thriller writers made the following comments:
“The Ocean Dark by Jack Rogan is gale-force-ten of a thriller, blending furious suspense with brilliantly speculative science to create a riveting story of violence and mayhem on the high seas. Wow!” — Douglas Preston, co-author of Relic and Cemetery Dance.
“Jack Rogan’s, The Ocean Dark, demands to be devoured in one sitting. A bloody, brilliant thriller centered on a horror rising from the darkest myths and legends. Read it with all the lights on in the house. You’ve been warned.” — James Rollins, New York Timesbestselling author of The last Oracle.
“A masterful thriller, Rogan’s The Ocean Dark is a big, sprawling tale filled with smart plotting and flesh-and-blood characters. It races from start to finish like an unstoppable vessel steaming full speed ahead.” — Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Collector and Roadside Crosses.
Jack Rogan teaches English and Drama at a small private school in New England. This is his first novel. I caught up with Jack and had a chance to ask him a few questions.
Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about The Ocean Dark?
“I had the most extraordinary time writing this novel, talking to FBI agents, doing research on ships and smugglers, picking the brains of university professors who — to my astonishment — agreed that my geology and exo-biology were not completely impossible. I guess that’s what stunned me the most … that in creating the heretofore undiscovered species of bloodthirsty creatures that show up in the novel, I wasn’t creating something that would make a biology professor run screaming. (Well, if she actually meets one, then obviously she would run screaming, but you know what I mean.) But what I loved most about writing the novel had more to do with introducing myself to these really intriguing people whose lives were all so interesting to me, and then thrusting them all into collision courses with each other and with something terrifying and deadly. I’ve had such great feedback from other authors so far — Douglas Preston, James Rollins, and Jeffery Deaver among them — that I hope readers will have as much fun reading as I had writing.”
Did any particular event inspire the plot?
“Thankfully, no. But there were a couple of things that influenced its coalescing in my brain. First, I know a wonderful, intelligent, professional woman who happens to be a very attractive, ass-kicking FBI agent who works ocean interdiction. If you met her, you’d be astonished to learn what she does for a living. Second, I’ve always had a fascination with partially sunken ships. They’re creepy as hell, and I always imagine that something is lurking inside, just waiting for me.”
What are you doing to promote your book?
“There’s a website being born at www.jackrogan.com. I’m in conversation with my publisher about a number of other opportunities. I’ve finally dragged myself in to the 21st century and gotten a Facebook page, but I’ve only just begun that. I’m woefully behind the curve with such things, I’m afraid. On that note, anyone who’d like to review the book or who reads it and would like to discuss it can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I’m thrilled to say that my editor is currently reading my second novel, War’s Children, which will be out next year. It features two of the characters who manage to surviveThe Ocean Dark, but otherwise it’s not a sequel in any way. It’s far enough off that I don’t want to give much away, but once again, I had a fantastic time in the process of writing it.
When you’re not writing, what are you doing (family, hobbies, etc.)?
I teach English and Drama at a small private school in New England. Theater is my second love. I’ve also found a small community of fellow writers up here who have graciously taken me in and offered valuable advice. I love to travel, particularly in Europe, though it seems that the more places I visit, the more I discover ought to be on my list of future destinations. And, yes, in the past I’ve been an amateur treasure hunter, working with a friend of mine who captains a boat out of Gloucester and has spent years working to find a particular wreck off of Cape Cod. But the less said abut that, the better. Teaching is my full time job.
Thanks so much Jack. Good luck with The Ocean Dark. I look forward to reading it.