Novel spotlight: The Black Vulture, corruption starts at the heart.

The Black Vulture was started in January 2018 after I failed to finish a novel for the previous NaNoWriMo. The final manuscript was completed in November of the same year. My primary aim in narrative was to focus on pacing, and the core story touches on big problems stemming from small causes. The tagline “corruption starts at the heart” is a reflection of this.

The striking visual colours of Brazil offered an exciting challenge and a beautiful background for a large portion of the novel, with the stark contrasts of green, yellow and blue. But that’s not to say that the Black Vulture is a story about Brazil, rather it’s a story that passes through Brazil, often at times like a wrecking ball. The country is an unwitting battleground fought by characters who bring their own problems to it, and this battle is contrasted with the vibrant natural beauty of the country. It’s as though no one can stop for just a moment to realise that paradise exists, and yet they continue to smash up the glass store.

Speaking of characters, they all serve their desires, or are trying to be different people than who they were in the past. Past actions seem to have a way of getting tangled up with the present. Although the USA and Brazil feature in the story, they do not represent any of the themes found within it. They simply take on a role in order to convey a bigger issue: that corruption can occur anywhere, from anyone, and sometimes originates from good intentions. Somehow we let our hearts darken and we lose sight of the things that are most important.

The Black Vulture is a human story wrapped up in a fast-paced action-adventure thriller, without any politics or preaching. In fact, the first idea I had for the story was to write an adventure tale, something similar to a pulp adventure. Ultimately, it’s a story to entertain and delight.

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