The Last Goodbye - A Cyberpunk Novel
The Last Goodbye, Eldon Farrell's latest thriller novel, debuts July 19th, 2022, and will be the first in a duology. In advance of the big release, I caught up with Eldon and asked him some not-so-subtle questions about his process, the book, & more :) Check it out! And don't forget to get your pre-order now!
1. How long on average does it take for you to write a book?
This is an answer that has changed much over the years. For instance, it took me five years to finish Stillness, my first published novel. Even Singularity took well over eighteen months to pen. The Last Goodbye, though, eighty days start-to-finish. So, from here I’d say I can write an average sized book these days in under one hundred days. Meaning I’m able to deliver multiple releases in a year.
2. As someone who’s read and loved your Singularity series, The Last Goodbye is a bit of a switch from it. What inspired it?
Honestly, after so much time spent in the Singularverse, I was just looking for a change. Just like readers can get tired of reading the same type of story again and again, writers also grow weary and need to change things up every now and then. That’s kind of the inspiration for The Last Goodbye. A reaction to the testosterone fueled mayhem of the Singularverse. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of action in this book, but the story feels more centered around a down-to-earth character who happens to find himself in over his head, as opposed to the cast of the Singularverse who just kicked ass and took names.
3. How important was it to you to have a diverse cast of characters for this story?
Very important. I don’t have the numbers at hand, but it sure feels like a high percentage of novels written take place somewhere within the borders of the United States. Authors have bestowed upon America the virtual distinction of “center of the universe.” And while there’s nothing wrong with that, there is a whole great big world out there beyond those borders that we can discover.
For this book, I wanted to explore some of that world and thus knew from the get go that diverse characters would play an important part. And I loved crafting a world full of characters different from myself. Representation matters when it’s authentic. It needs to fit within the confines of the story to avoid being pandering. Nobody likes to be pandered to. Lucky for me, writing a story that takes place in Singapore, allowed me to fill it with an organically diverse cast.
4. Let’s talk protagonists. Nate (from Singularity) and Wiley (from TLG) are as different as night and day! How do you write such different characters, and what was one main struggle with Wiley?
They are distinctly separate for sure. A difference that, as I mentioned, was by design. If you were entering a dark alley in the dead of night and had your choice of who to bring along, not many people would pick Wiley over Nate. But I think that’s part of what makes Wiley special. He’s an everyman type. We all know someone just like him in our daily lives. The lovable screw-up with a big heart and a penchant for being oblivious. He was a blast to write. Not much use in a fight, but never let it stop him from trying.
Writing different characters boils down to observation. While you can’t find anyone quite like Nate to model from, you can mix and match observed personality traits to create what you need. Both type of character is fun to write in different ways. The one struggle I did find with Wiley was worrying if the reader would continue to forgive his poor choices. You never know how readers will react. But, I satisfied myself that everything he does is within the boundaries set for his character. It might not be the best course of action, or what you would do, but it is what he would do.
5. What did you edit out of this book?
This is a good question. The original drafts had Wiley’s love interest as a scientist working for The Citadel, so that didn’t make the cut. Placing her outside The Citadel made for a much better narrative, and opened up a world of possibilities.
6. How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
I can’t stress enough how important professional editing is to a book. As authors, we put so much time and effort into each story, but it’s all for naught if we allow it to go out into the wilds without a professional polish. I cringe whenever I hear authors talk about not needing editing.
Let’s be real, I don’t care who you are or how good you are, nobody is perfect. Our readers deserve our best, and we can only assure them of that by allowing our books to be edited by a qualified professional. I’m blessed to have found both Luna Imprints Author Services and Studioenp. From beta services through to the final edit, these two companies exemplify professionalism while offering the best insights.
7. The war of the classes, so prevalent in our day to day lives, is a big part of TLG’s undercurrents. The Citadel and the Outlands could represent the elite and working class of any nation nowadays. What made you want to include it in your writing? Any particular message you’re trying to send?
Including class warfare in this story was a no brainer. Since the very beginning of cyberpunk, class warfare has played a pivotal role. It’s the genre that invented the whole “high tech, low life” motif.
As for a message, I’d say it’s one of restraint. We all love new technology and the opportunities it promises to open up. But we need to be careful how it’s used. I think equality will continue to be a top issue in the future and how new advances are rolled out will say a lot about us as a society.
8. What part of the book was the most fun to write?
No spoilers here, but the ending was a real blast to write! I loved it when all the disparate threads I had weaved finally came together with a few twists and turns to set up an explosive finish :)
9. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
All the time. Since I started writing I made it a point to always include at least one throwaway item in each successive book that ties into the previous book. That way, observant readers will note that all my books take place in the same “universe” if you will. Keep your eyes peeled and I’m sure you’ll find them :)
10. If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
Don’t tempt me with spin-off’s lol. I can’t see me ever doing it, but I think Jin Cobb would have some really good stories in him. The whole assassin-for-hire would definitely make for some exciting tales.
11. Would you and your main character get along?
I think Wiley and I would for sure get along. Nate and I . . . well, that’s another matter lol. Of course, who did Nate get along with, anyway? Aside from Tommy ;) Who by the way, is the one character of mine I’d love to go drinking with!!
12. If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
No if’s about it – there will be a sequel to The Last Goodbye. The Crimson Shroud is scheduled for release in May of 2023. The only thing I can share about it now is that all of your favourite characters will be back and that means, Wiley will once again find himself in it up to his eyeballs.
13. Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?
This is a loaded question coming from you, knowing your love for certain characters in the Singularverse haha. Yes, I have killed off popular characters before. Many times. Being willing to drop the ax on a popular character, or a main character, ups the stakes and raises the tension for any situation they find themselves in. As the reader, you truly don’t know if they’ll survive.
And once again, sorry about Tommy haha
14. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Oh man, just one, huh? I’ll never stop singing the praises of anything Patrick Redmond writes, but this time, I think I’ll give some love to a fellow Indie author, Lynn Almengor. Check out Now That We’re Adults and it’ll be one of the best books you read this year!! A very nuanced take on the beauty of life and friendship that will run you through the gamut of emotions. But if you’re in the mood for something a little more psychological thriller, then check out Fool Her Once by another under-appreciated scribe, Joanna Elm.
Guess I couldn’t keep it to just one after all :)
15. If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
You know there are so many popular authors who I admire and would love to spend the day with. Choosing just one is tough. If I have to do it, though, I would choose fellow Canadian, Margaret Atwood. Her wealth of experience and skill at writing are unparalleled. These days everyone knows The Handmaid’s Tale, but her career is filled with so many other classics as well. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. A true icon.
16. How do you celebrate when you finish a book?
I usually just get started on the next one. Idle hands and all that. I also tend to get grumpy if I’m not working on something ;)
17. Why should readers pick up their copy of TLG? I know what I loved about it, but let’s hear from the author.
Readers of cyberpunk should pick this one up to experience a new spin on old tropes. They’re all in there, but combined with the fast-paced tension of a great thriller, they give the reader a whole new experience. Plus, Wiley is just a fantastic character to read :)
About The Last Goodbye
Release date: July 19, 2022
What would you give to say goodbye?
Wiley has a lifetime of experience staying hidden in plain sight. Even those closest to him only think they know him. Thanks to an expert forgery, he lives inside the opulent Citadel, where he works as a scout for Chronos. His job? Using time travel to help people say goodbye to lost loved ones.
That is until his brother Frank goes missing.
Now a series of cryptic clues he left behind will threaten everything. They lead Wiley home to the outlands, where he quickly becomes the prime suspect in a murder he didn’t commit. The victim? His last client.
In order to clear his name, Wiley must find Frank and unravel the secrets his employer is keeping before they can arrange his own last goodbye.
The Last Goodbye delivers an interesting mix for cyberpunk fans. A mystery enmeshed in a class war, a brother's promising career being pulled down the drain due to events outside of his control, and a devious assassin on the hunt. You'd think these elements would be too much, but they're extremely well-done to craft a fantastic, intriguing narrative. An unlikely hero, a twisted plot, sibling dynamics, all set in a cyberpunk world where the war between the classes is at an ultimate high…. What’s not to like? This was my first dive into cyberpunk, but won’t be the last as far as Mr Farrell is concerned! Everyone will be able to relate, if not to the entire story, then for sure to some portion of it!
5 action-packed stars!
About the Author
Eldon Farrell is an avid reader, writer, and author of the upcoming novel The Last Goodbye. A professionally trained accountant, Eldon has spent more than two decades reading and writing thriller novels. Readers have described his novels as “fast-paced”, “full of action”, and “edge-of-your-seat” reading. His next release will be the start of a cyberpunk duology.
He is a lover of language, and an unapologetic fan of DC Comics, who does recognize the irony in the redundancy. A child of the eighties, when not writing, he can still be found in the shadows of Grayskull or trying to get back to the future.
You can learn more about him and the books he writes at www.eldonfarrellauthor.com