Loop: When Imagination Meets Technology: A Journey of Thrills and Terror

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Hola there, folks! What’s up with you all? This is William Kely McClung on this side. I’m taking over the Booxoul podium today to give a bit of myself to you.

I’m thrilled to take you on a riveting adventure into the depths of my creative mind, where art, literature, martial arts, and storytelling converge. Yes, prepare yourselves to ride through a fascinating interview that sheds light on my multi-faceted career, my inspirations, and the captivating world of my novel, “Loop.”

Creativity: My Constant Companion

Since I was a kid, creativity has been my constant companion. I vividly remember drawing recognizable figures at the tender age of four, and my passion for art and storytelling grew with every passing day. By the time I was reading at an early age, I found myself skipping children’s books and diving straight into thrilling stories of heroes and mythology. “Tarzan of the Apes,” “The Martian Chronicles,” and “Pellucidar” became my companions as I journeyed into the uncharted realms of imagination. Strange, but that is how little ol’ I was…

I was particularly influenced by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose depiction of heroes and strong women left a lasting mark on my storytelling style. These influences would later shape the foundation of my writing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the inspiration they provided.

Loop: The Genesis

Now, fast forward to the genesis of “Loop.” The idea behind creating this scintillating narrative came to me as I pondered the ever-increasing immersion of technology in our lives. Our rapid adoption of AI and the interconnectedness of the world raise intriguing questions about its potential impact on humanity. Could this technological revolution alter the very essence of who we are? And what if this evolution happened at a breakneck pace?

Loop, the app at the heart of the story, became the embodiment of this notion—a powerful and immersive technology that would explore the thin line between human and machine. Drawing inspiration from real-life conspiracy theories, I envisioned a world where our reliance on technology takes a dark turn, leading to a dangerous blurring of boundaries.

While I don’t personally believe in such extreme scenarios, I recognize that our technological journey may have unexpected consequences in the future. It was this idea that served as the foundation for “Loop,” taking readers on an electrifying ride through AI, psycho-thriller elements, and a post-apocalyptic backdrop.

If you ask me, I strongly believe and feel that our rapid adoption will be part of our evolution. Maybe we’re fortunate that it happened in such a short time. So we have made no real changes to our DNA in such a short time! If it took a million years, we would maybe have two or three thumbs on each hand to text each other faster. But as it is, it will quickly get us past that stage, and we’ll look much the same as we do now! I hope!

The point I want to make here is that anything is probable and anything is possible, given the rise of AI, and yet we must exercise caution too.

Loop: Decoding the Journey

The process of creating “Loop” took around two years. Before penning the full-fledged novel, I crafted an eight-minute short film that received rave reviews at film festivals around the globe. The positive response fueled my determination to explore the story further, resulting in the screenplay and, ultimately, the novel that you now hold in your hands.

As you dive into the pages of “Loop,” you’ll encounter a thrilling narrative that delves into the darkest corners of the human psyche. Violence and fear permeate the story, but behind the terror lies a profound exploration of the character’s emotional journey. I wanted readers to feel the pain, fear, and struggles of even the monstrous characters, allowing them to experience the full range of human emotions. When we think of zombies, all that comes to mind is a grotesque and grim image. I wanted to differ on this, taking it more deeply and delving beyond this facet into a multi-dimensional place where we get into the very sinew of the creature rather than only the gory, horror aspect of it.

Moreover, I ensured that my writing style echoed the pace of a movie, with quick shifts in point-of-view akin to seamless edits in film. This deliberate choice adds an extra layer of excitement, making readers feel like they’re watching a movie unfold before their very eyes.

I hope I managed to hit the bullseye on this one by ensuring I did all of this seamlessly.

Character: Sketches and Hues

Now, let’s talk about the characters—the beating hearts of the story. Loop’s trio of protagonists, Jessie, Ula Becker, and Bad Ass, are a source of immense pride for me. Each of them is distinct, relatable, and evokes a sense of camaraderie. As a writer, I worked tirelessly to place the reader inside their minds and hearts, enabling them to share in their fears, excitement, love, and wonder.

Jessie and Ula Becker, especially, are characters I hold close to my heart. Strong and independent, they have the potential for their own thrilling tales that could captivate audiences worldwide. The women I write about are not mere sidekicks; they are the heroes of their stories, with emotions as complex and profound as any male protagonist.

As for the creepy and mysterious character, Bad Ass, some keen-eyed readers may have noticed that he is the only one who doesn’t receive a real name throughout the entire book. A deliberate choice on my part, which may be explored in the sequel.

Work in Progress

While Loop takes us on a wild ride through the convergence of AI and psycho-thriller elements, “Super Ninja,” my current work-in-progress, embarks on a futuristic superhero origin story. Prepare for an exhilarating adventure that delves even deeper into the realm of AI and science fiction, pushing the boundaries of imagination.

A Journey that was…

As a creator, I believe in the importance of grounding fantastic tales in real-life science and technology. While my stories may appear far-fetched, they are often inspired by real scientific advancements and discoveries. The potential to manipulate chemical reactions and control our bodily responses through sight and sound is not entirely out of reach, given the remarkable progress in neurology and brain mapping.

However, these incredible possibilities also raise ethical questions about the responsible use of technology. Just like in “Loop,” real-life AI advancements have the potential to revolutionize our lives for the better but also pose risks if wielded irresponsibly.

Reflecting on my journey, I realize that everything in my life has been intertwined, from storytelling to art and martial arts. They have been a part of me from the very beginning, shaping my identity as a creative individual.

While COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns disrupted many plans, they led me to channel my frustrations into writing novels. “Loop” emerged as a response to the uncertainties and fears that the pandemic brought to the forefront. The worldwide fears of COVID, the unknown, misinformation, and rumours found their way into the narrative, making it eerily relevant to the tumultuous times.

As my career progressed, I ventured into landscape design, blending my creativity with the natural world. But my passion for storytelling never waned, and I continue to write every day. Additionally, I mentor young filmmakers and lend my expertise to budding talents, a responsibility I take great joy in.

Books and me…

As I look back on my favourite books, Tarzan still occupies a special place in my heart, along with “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”  I also like the Jack Reacher books and loved “The Bourne Identity.” Those are older stories, but I can feel their influence. Recently, I reread “Silence of The Lambs” and was struck by how simple but effective the writing is. Genius. No wonder it became a hit! And last, totally switching gears, I love the book “Illusions, Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach.

Loop of Thrills and Terror

And before I wrap up, let’s discuss the addictive nature of technology, a topic central to both “Loop” and real-life conversations. We find ourselves glued to our screens, constantly seeking validation and reassurance from virtual platforms. The idea of an app like Loop, a vanity app that ensnares its users, rings true as we witness the power of social media and its influence on our decisions and emotions.

My Theories

Well, TBH, I do think someday we’ll all be microchipped and tracked. It will be something the public will embrace and want, maybe to keep track of our children. All it will take, I think, is a world leader, like a U.S. president, to push the laws. They may find a way to do it with facial recognition software or some variant instead. Like Elon Musk’s neural link chip. In the research I did for both my books, Loop and Black Fire, I found some really amazing things that are real now, like police drones that can scan a crowd and, from more than a hundred feet in the air, tell our temperature, and from our body language and movement, if we are coughing or sneezing, determine if we are sick or infectious.

To Sum it Up

My journey as a creator has been an exploration of the human psyche and a quest to push the boundaries of imagination. The worlds I create, whether in art, martial arts, or writing, are a reflection of the ever-evolving human experience. Through thrilling tales and immersive storytelling, I hope to engage readers and leave them with a sense of wonderment about the possibilities that lie ahead.

So, dear readers, as I continue to shape new narratives and explore uncharted territories, I invite you to join me on this extraordinary journey into the realm of imagination meets thrills and terror. Remember to turn off your phones occasionally for our true adventures to unfold.

And before we go, a quick challenge, if you please!

Yeah, showtime, peeps!

Under each chapter heading in the book Loop,’ there is a binary number. If you take them from every chapter, they spell out a secret code! 

I won’t tell you what it says yet! That would spoil the fun.

Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul, one of Asia’s leading book review blogs, where you get the best from the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, conversations, food, fun, finance, education, tech, and gadgets, as well as all things bookish.

Adios Amigos!

Keywords: Thrills and Terror, William Kely McClung, Loop

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