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An Ascent into the Depths: An Interview with Adam Plantinga on His Debut Novel

An Ascent into the Depths: An Interview with Adam Plantinga on His Debut Novel

An Author’s Journey from Non-Fiction to Fiction

In a remarkable transition from non-fiction to fiction, seasoned law enforcement officer Adam Plantinga unveils his debut novel, The Ascent, a captivating tale that seamlessly blends authenticity with creative license. Drawing upon his two decades of experience, Plantinga crafts a compelling narrative that delves into the depths of human emotion, resilience, and the complexities of the criminal justice system.

Navigating Grief and Loss through Fiction

The novel’s protagonist, Kurt Argento, a former police officer, finds himself grappling with the profound grief of losing his wife. Plantinga’s profound understanding of grief, gleaned from his encounters with people on the worst days of their lives, shines through in his portrayal of Argento’s emotional turmoil. Through skillfully executed flashbacks, Plantinga illuminates the profound bond between Argento and his late wife, Emily, making their loss all the more poignant.

Dual Perspectives: Unveiling Character Complexity

The narrative unfolds through the alternating perspectives of Argento and Julie Wakefield, a graduate student and the governor’s daughter. This dual perspective offers a nuanced understanding of both characters, revealing their strengths and vulnerabilities through each other’s eyes. While Argento recognizes Julie’s hidden strength, Julie sees the humanity buried deep within Argento. This interplay of perspectives adds depth and complexity to the characters, making them feel authentic and relatable.

The Ascent: A Metaphorical and Physical Journey

The book’s title, The Ascent, carries both literal and figurative significance. As Argento and the other survivors navigate the prison’s floors in their perilous journey toward safety, they embark on a transformative character arc, rising from despair to find purpose and redemption. This metaphorical ascent mirrors Argento’s inner journey as he grapples with his grief and loss.

Exploring the Complexities of the Criminal Justice System

Plantinga acknowledges the complexities of the criminal justice system, showcasing both the idealism and flaws within it. He portrays righteous cops and corrupt ones, highlighting the role of police body cameras and addressing issues of racism and poverty. Through Argento’s musings, Plantinga delves into the doomed trajectory of individuals drawn into gang life from a young age, shedding light on the systemic issues that perpetuate crime.

The Writing Community: A Source of Support and Guidance

Plantinga expresses gratitude for the unwavering support he received from the writing community throughout his journey as an author. Fellow writers provided invaluable assistance, from shaping rough drafts to navigating the agent and publishing landscape. Established crime writers also generously considered his book for blurbs, demonstrating the communal spirit within the writing world. This sense of camaraderie and support highlights the importance of community in the creative process.

Balancing Personal and Professional Commitments

Plantinga attributes his ability to balance his personal and professional lives to the unwavering support of his wife, who is also one of his trusted editors. He emphasizes the importance of paying the price for success, dedicating the necessary effort to transform dreams into tangible achievements. Plantinga’s dedication and commitment serve as an inspiration to aspiring writers, demonstrating that with hard work and perseverance, it is possible to achieve one’s creative goals.

A Glimpse into the Future: Hard Town and Beyond

Plantinga reveals that a sequel to The Ascent, titled Hard Town, is slated for release in 2025. This upcoming novel promises a broader scope and unexpected directions, as Argento finds himself entangled in a new kind of trouble while housesitting in a small Arizona town. Readers can eagerly anticipate the next installment in this gripping series, as Plantinga continues to explore the depths of human experience through his captivating storytelling.

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