Interview with Christopher Keating, author of 'That Which Maddens and Torments'

Chris Keating had his first story published when he was just seven years old and in second grade. He has been writing both fiction and nonfiction ever since.

He wrote his first book, Dialogues on 2012: Why the World Will Not End, while he was a professor of physics at the U.S Naval Academy. He was inspired to write it because of continually being questioned on all walks of life about the myth the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 according to the Mayan calendar.

After the world didn’t end, Chris decided to tackle the controversial topic of climate change by writing Undeniable! Dialogues on Global Warming, which was published in 2014. He also began the online Global Warming Skeptic Challenge, offering $10,000 to the first person who could prove the fallacy of global warming. His challenge quickly went viral and Chris spent his entire summer that year responding to submissions. He later published a compilation of the submissions and his responses, which can be purchased at or downloaded as a free PDF at Chris also writes the blog, Dialogues on Global Warming, which is devoted to climate change issues.

Chris most recent book is the thriller, That Which Maddens and Torments. It pits an ambitious, hard-hitting young newspaper journalist writing about global warming against villainous denier lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who are working for the fossil fuel industry. At the behest of their clients, the lobbyists will stop at nothing to protect the industry’s profits and to ensure that a scientific study proving the truth of global warming does not become public. Chris hopes that by tackling the issue of global warming via a work of fiction, he will engage a broader cross section of people in the issue.

After successful careers as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy and the Navy Reserve and then as a professor of physics, Chris now lives in the Texas Hill Country, where he continues to focus on climate change research and to write.

For More Information
  • Visit Christopher Keating’s website.
  • Connect with Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Christopher at Goodreads.
  • Visit Christopher’s blog.
About the Book:

Title: That Which Maddens and Torments
Author: Christopher Keating
Publisher: Christopher Keating
Pages: 274
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

With the encouragement of her uncle, a retired professor of geophysics, Josephine Black, a recent college graduate, begins reporting on the issue of climate change for a major New York City newspaper. She quickly discovers that she has a passion for the subject and a talent for investigative journalism.

It’s not long before Jo’s hard-hitting articles are being noticed. However, leaders within the powerful fossil fuel industry don’t like what they are reading. They believe that the information in Jo’s articles could threaten their profits eventually, and they are also concerned that Jo will uncover a scientific report written by a friend of her uncle’s that proves the truth about global warming. The industry’s leaders are ruthless and are willing to stop at nothing to silence Jo and protect their profits.
Soon, Jo finds herself caught up in a very dangerous high stakes “cat and mouse game” related to the climate change debate. A game that combines politics and policy brokering at the highest levels of government with criminality. However, Jo is determined to outwit her ruthless enemies no matter what it takes.

Full of twists and turns, That Which Maddens and Torments is an entertaining, page-turning read. However, it also provides readers with insights into the debate surrounding the issue of global warming and helps to explain the motivation behind many of the global warming skeptics or deniers we read about or see on TV.

For More Information

  • That Which Maddens and Torments is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea actually evolved quite a bit. When I was done, I went back to my original notes and it was surprising to see how much I changed the story line during the process. Basically, I had an ending in mind and I wrote the rest of the book to get me there. The ultimate goal was to tell a good story.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing is hard. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t try to do it. You’ll spend hours every day on it and wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. One entire chapter came to me in my sleep. Another chapter came to me during a New Year’s Eve party. Writing will consume your life. But, if you like it, it is really a lot of fun. I’m already hard at work on my next two novels.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’m self-published. I explored the idea of doing the traditional publishing, but it is extremely competitive. When I considered all of my options, I decided I was better served publishing myself.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Not really. I had done my research before I started and pretty much knew what I was getting into. I think a lot of people don’t do that, though. The writing of a book is the easiest part. After that, you have to convince the reading public why they should read your book. That part is a lot of hard work.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

My next book is Purple Legion. The story line is about the unforeseen consequences of our actions. I’ve shown the working draft to a couple of people and they really liked it. After that, I’m working on a story that takes place in a fictional, Shangri-La place in the Texas Hill Country. It will be a quirky, humorous story.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I do research on climate change (I’m a professor of physics). I spend a couple hours every day on science sites, reading and studying science topics.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I’m not realty trying to send a message. People who know me might doubt that because the villains are climate change deniers. But, the story would have been the same with any villain. I simply wanted a different villain and felt this group of bad guys hadn’t been exploited too much. It was easy.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Write. That first word is the hardest part of writing a novel. Sit down and do it.

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