Fire, ice and murder — Writer’s debut novel takes readers to edge

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WALLA WALLA — There are edges and then there are edges.

Iceland is an island at the edge of the Arctic Circle. It’s also where extremes, physical and psychic, can push people to the edge and sometimes right over it.

Those extremes are the heart of Edward Weinman’s debut novel, “The Ring Road,” a murder thriller set in Iceland after a glacial volcano erupts with a vengeance.

Published by The Rogue Reader, the thriller is getting a good buzz from reviewers and ranked as a Nook “first pick” by Barnes and Noble. It is also available through Amazon.

A Walla Walla resident for the past year and a half, Weinman is currently writing for Whitman Magazine and whitman.edu.

But for nearly eight years he lived and worked in Iceland “enduring many long, dark, cold, windy, gray winters. But (making) it out alive, without kids, and having suffered only one nervous breakdown.”

Weinman also made it out with the experiences and insights that form the core for The Ring Road and its central characters.

Although he began working on “The Ring Road” about three years ago, Weinman said the massive volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull glacier in 2010 was a critical turning point in the creative process.

“It changed the trajectory of the novel,” he said.

The cataclysmic event was woven into the narrative and became the force which strands the novel’s protagonist, an American tourist named Hobson, in Iceland’s sublime, but dangerous, landscape.

Although Weinman had the story arc for “The Ring Road” thought out, getting it written was another matter.

“The middle is always the hardest part,” he said about the work. “The beginning is always easy because you have this great idea.”

It also helps to be stubborn, he said. “When you’re writing something, you just have to get it out.”

Another tough process is revising the manuscript, smoothing over the rough edges of the first draft and following up on suggestions by the editor. Then comes the next hardest part, getting it published.

“The publishing industry is changing so fast. You have to get a manager and they have to get a publisher,” he said.

Fortunately Weinman was able to find a good manager who, in turn, was able to sell the novel to Rogue Reader.

The book’s reception has been especially exciting for him, Weinman said.

“I guess there’s nothing lonelier than sitting there wondering if anyone is going to read this,” he said. Fortunately, more than a few people have.

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