Author Name: Michael Bertrand
Book Name: Climb the Tree
Book genre: Science fiction with a touch of horror
I’m 42 and live in Madison, WI with my wife of 15 years and our four children. I work nights at a 30-day alcohol and other drugs rehab. I am currently working on a credential to become a substance abuse counsellor. Prior to this line of work, I served as a priest in the Episcopal church for 11 years.
read the single word at the top of the glossy sheet. A picture of a painted face stared at him from beneath the words. The man’s face was orange, with yellow circles around bloodshot eyes.
was printed under the face. “Go where?” he wondered. “With who?” He took the sheet and went to find an adult.
Mrs. Durkitt stood at the door, preparing to leave. “What is it, Charles?” she asked as he approached.
“Oh,” she said, when she saw…
…WELCOME to the Meadows, where yesterday is today, tomorrow is next week, and the Orange Man says DON’T GO. WITNESS Charles and others struggle against forces greater than themselves. And QUESTION everything- God, humanity, and reality itself.
Could you tell me a bit more about your book?
Parts of Climb the Tree are over 25 years old. I wrote the first version of Bill’s Arcade Heaven (section 3) around 1993. I lost all of the hard copies in Hurricane Katrina and rewrote BAH from memory. Language of Birds (section 2) goes back about 10 years. I have attempted to write that story many, many times and this is the first attempt that I finished. The Manor (section 1) and Brown Lake (section 4) are new.
What inspired you to write the book?
It started as a self-therapy exercise for anxiety. Many of the settings are drawn from real life. The Manor is based on a retirement community in McAllen, TX. Brown Lake is based on a church camp I spent a lot of time at in my youth.
What was your process of writing the book?
I wrote at least half of it on the night shift when things were very quiet. I spent about a year editing.
Why should people read your book?
I put a lot of effort into it, and produced something that comes close to the vision I had in my mind. I think it’s different from anything else you’re going to come across.
What is so special about your story?
Climb the Tree contains an eclectic mixture of Lovecraft, Christian theology, and weird science fiction that I have yet to see elsewhere.
Who is your ideal reader?
Science fiction nerds who have some knowledge of theology.
How did you celebrate finishing writing your book?
I didn’t. It still doesn’t feel finished. Or maybe it’s not finished with me.
Who is your favourite character in the book?
Charles Fripp. He’s the closest to a personal avatar that appears in Climb the Tree.
If your book would be made into a movie – what actor would you want to play your main character and why?
If it was going to be filmed at all- it would work better as an animated film. Something like Akira from 1988 or Neon Genesis Evangelion from 1996.
What is your favourite book?
I read a lot and have many favorites. Michael D’ Obrien’s Fool of New York City is one of my most recent favorites. Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is my favorite manga. Freaky Deaky is my favorite Elmore Leonard.
What author do you look up to?
John Brunner. Elmore Leonard
What would you do if your book became an international bestseller?
I would be very shocked. As much as I love it, Climb the Tree is not bestseller material.
Anything you want to share with my readers?
Climb the Tree can be found on goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48566256-climb-the-tree
My Amazon author page is: amazon.com/author/mbertrand
Climb the Tree is on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083KM9R3F