The Gatherer delivers free, infinite energy along with an illness never seen before and with no known cure. Afflicted herself, Storm is returning to the compound where she created the device to put an end to the suffering she caused. But when she encounters a Gatherer so corrupted from her original design that she hardly recognizes it, she’ll need all her strength and that of those around her, to finally stop the lethal device she created.
“THE STORM is a compelling, thought-provoking read. Winter’s beautiful writing builds to a powerful, emotional ending that will leave readers eager for whatever she does next.” – Adam Hamdy, Best-Selling Author of THE OTHER SIDE OF NIGHT
“THE STORM starts like a crack of lightning and keeps the reader mesmerized with fast-paced action through each new chapter, right through to the explosive, emotional, unsettling ending. Winter’s expressive writing builds an otherworldly setting with perfectly illuminated characters: their struggles through grief, fear, and despair to, ultimately, a glimmer of hope. Unlike many far-fetched plots in sci-fi, Winter’s story of Storm and her Gatherer – and the greedy, ruthless humans who populate her decaying society – is frighteningly real.” – Deborah Levison, author of THE CRATE and A NEST OF SNAKES
Colleen Winter recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE STORM.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
It wasn’t so much an incident or moment but a combination of several factors all coalescing at the same moment. I had always been interested in technology and how we interact with it, especially when it goes wrong. At the time, I was suffering from an illness that was unrecognized and unacknowledged by the health care system, and I had been doing research on Electromagnetic Sensitivity. These three forces combined into what would become The Gatherer series.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
Right from the start I had a compelling image of a woman looking to the southern horizon with a longing that consumed her. I needed to know where that longing came from and how she was going to resolve it. It started as what my writing mentor calls ‘the sacred image’ and sustained this series for three books.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I want readers to have a new perspective on our relationship with energy and how it affects our lives. While this story is fictional, it is not so far away from reality that it couldn’t happen in the very near future.
As both an electrical engineer and a former journalist, Colleen Winter has one foot in the world of technology and the other in the world of words. Her stories reflect her fascination with technology — and specifically when it goes wrong — and how it intersects with our lives.
She was short-listed for the 2020 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Speculative Fiction, has received two Writer’s Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council, won the Best First Sentence Contest at Thrillerfest, won first prize in the CAA Leacock/Simcoe Erotic prose contest, received a SLS Fellowship from the Unified Literary Contest, and is an alumnus of the Humber School of Writers.
When she isn’t writing, Colleen can be found hiking or climbing the beautiful places of the world or sneaking out for early morning swims in whatever freshwater lake is nearby. She reads to get inspired by Martha Wells, Becky Chambers, Veronica Roth, Blake Crouch, Mur Lafferty, and Matt Haig. She is a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and International Thriller Writers.
Colleen lives in Ontario with her husband Ron in their empty nest with their loveable, psychotic, reactive dog Kira.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.