G-S0FRWVK02S script async src="https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js?client=ca-pub-5316903433019074" crossorigin="anonymous">
top of page

Percivious: Escape: An Interview with Authors JJ Cook and AJ Cook, MD

JJ Cook and AJ Cook, MD, critically acclaimed authors, have delivered another thrilling read with Percivious: Escape. The captivating and highly anticipated conclusion to the Percivious Trilogy follows the events that occur after a vicious insomnia pandemic turns into a devastating apocalypse, threatening humanity's extinction. The couple continues to blend their distinct perspectives to provide readers with a thought-provoking and memorable experience.

To learn more about the story behind the story, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the authors below:

Tell us a little about your journey to becoming authors.

JJ Cook: One day in the fourth grade I wrote a story, in pencil, about a princess, a dragon and an evil father, mounted it on red construction paper and managed to place first in the school writing contest. After that, the path was clear and a passion for words was ignited, one that would stay with me forever.

Outside of a career in marketing I attended university in the evening to study creative writing. Then about eight years ago it struck me. I said to my husband, a pediatric urologist at Alberta Children’s Hospital, “Wouldn’t it be an interesting premise for a book, if someone (or something) was able to exploit your sleep hours. The one thing that still remains ours/uninterrupted (for the most part)." I didn’t know it at the time, but a trilogy was hanging in the balance as I waited for his reply. As it turned out he loved the idea and the premise for Percivious was conceived.

As a duo, what makes your writing unique?

JJ Cook: As a couple we love to talk about just about anything…for hours. When it came to writing together it started slowly. It was a bit of an epiphany with the premise and then ideas just started coming together and we started jotting them down. Sentences turned into paragraphs and then a first chapter initially. But three novels later we have a reliable process in place. We usually discuss an overarching story arc and key plot ideas. But when it comes to the writing I will take a stab at it and then we edit it (many times) together. So, it’s literally a labor of love and what we have in the end is a single voice, I believe, resulting from a true joint effort. We really don’t hold back when it comes to writing. To observe us I am sure you would wonder why are they doing this? Our “discussions”, which we affectionately now call “doozies” thanks to their increased frequency during the writing of book 2, Percivious Origins, have oftentimes led us to develop a new plotline or uncover an unforeseen twist.

I had a revelation while writing Percivious Origins. You can think you know someone, especially your partner, only to be surprised, yet again. Agreeing to write sci-fi, which would not have been the path I would have set out on had I been writing on my own, seemed exciting initially. AJ Cook, a huge sci-fi fan, would ensure that the science was solid which would enhance believability so that the characters and the story would be guaranteed to stay front and center. How hard could it be? The only thing was, and I learned this in the very early days of writing Percivious Origins, that he is more than just a sci-fi fan, he is a science fan and I was very quickly drowning in the vastness of space - terms, physics and ideas I knew very little about. It was a humbling experience and to be honest one I would have rather avoided. But, this story, Percivious, is one that haunts us and the characters would not let me go. So, we persevered through time, space and countless doozies in order to finish the trilogy and develop the true heart of our story.

Can you share a bit about Percivious: Escape and the story world you've created?

Percivious Escape is the final installment of the Percivious Trilogy. The first two novels Percivious Insomnia and Percivious Origins run parallel to each other so in Percivious Escape two worlds separated by time and space collide with unforgettable consequences.

A pandemic of insomnia has taken hold in Percivious Insomnia and it is up to the super star researcher of a Big Pharma company, Dr. Cooper Delaney, and a complicated handful of invested individuals, to figure out why his new wonder drug has run into a snag. The answer is literally out of this world.

In the second installment, Percivious Origins, readers travel back in time - 280 million years back in time, to discover a secret behind the insomnia pandemic revealed in book 1. This would suggest that book 2 is indeed a prequel. However, at the risk of a SPOILER, the last chapter of Percivious Insomnia is identical to the last chapter of Percivious Origins, creating a continuation of both novels in book 3. So, there is more going on in book 2 than what readers have come to expect from a typical prequel.

The final installment of the Percivious trilogy, Percivious Escape brings the fragile existence of two species and their civilizations crashing together under the ticking time bomb of this deadly pandemic. Together they form an unlikely alliance to solve the mystery behind the insomnia’s true origin and embark on a last-ditch effort to save both species from complete annihilation. But is it already too late for an escape? Bringing everything together for an explosive conclusion, Percivious Escape is a satisfying ending to a series that is years in the making.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

To be honest, that is something we haven’t had issue with to this point. We really do love writing together and often times, as in the conclusion of Percivious Escape, we aren’t exactly sure how the story will end. We can have full intention of writing a chapter or an ending a certain way and then once we sit down to put the words in place it takes a turn and goes in a completely different direction. However, I do feel that we have fallen into the right niche, writing his/hers sci-fi, because we keep coming up with ideas for new novels faster than we could ever hope to write them.

What do you hope readers take away from the series?

The ultimate in altruism is what lives at the heart of the Percivious trilogy, something pure that has been lost can be found within its pages. The XYZ of Percivious Origins were the dominant life form on earth 280 million years before the origin of homo sapiens. They are an advanced species that eliminated the need for violence and warfare on an evolutionary level. We drew inspiration from some surprising real-life sources to create their origin story. From the climate crisis to humanitarian issues all over the world, mankind has consistently forsaken our connection to this planet, and responsibility to each other. The XYZ throw us a lifeline in order to lead us back home.

We believe that the Percivious trilogy is a timely, prescient portrait of today’s globalized society and through it, readers can see how characters in the story choose to come together and take care of each other and apply this to their own lives.

If your trilogy were to be made into a movie or series, who would you want cast as the leads?

That is a good question...our story is pretty big so I guess we would lean on actors who have taken on something epic. We have a large cast of characters covering a wide demographic and then an equal amount of new characters introduced in Percivious Origins that are a completely new species - so it’s really a tough question. But if we had to pick a lead for Dr. Cooper Delaney it might be Austin Butler. Zendaya would make a great Mandolin Grace. Ophelia Sasaki should be played by HoYeon Jung. Ahmed Malek would be our choice for Khalid Al Gamdi. Daniel Levy should play Jon Cameron. Our Herriden could potentially be played by John Boyega and Ana de Armas would be a spectacular Vash. However, the story is such that some of the most important characters, ones that may not be considered leads, have such an impact on the story that they could easily steal the show.

Are you working on anything right now that you'd like to share with your readers?

We are approximately 20,000 words into a new novel set in the Rockies. I would say it will have some similar elements and have the same feel as the trilogy. There is a bit of a mystery that leads the characters off planet. But this time in search of treasure instead of an escape for survival. And…there may also be more to the Percivious story…To be clear, we are absolutely satisfied with the conclusion of the trilogy in Percivious Escape, however, we have had requests for a continuation of the story. So, depending on how this last novel is received overall, you may see Percivious become a series rather than a trilogy. For us, the door is still open a crack and it might not be over just yet. We will just have to see where the story takes us!

What does literary success look like to you?

To keep writing together, keep doing what we love. We would love to grow our readership and a share our stories with more people.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Don’t take criticism to heart but do try to learn from it. It’s easier said than done but it’s so important to keep positive in an field as competitive as this one.

Keep Up With The Authors





26 views0 comments
bottom of page