Home » Uncategorized » Up Close and Personal with Peter Clenott, author of ‘Devolution’

Up Close and Personal with Peter Clenott, author of ‘Devolution’

Devolution Front CoverABOUT DEVOLUTION

Chiku Flynn wasn’t raised to be a human. Born in Maiko National Park in the Congolese rain forest, Chiku spent the first eleven years of her life as part of an experiment conducted by her parents.

Primatologists Seth Flynn and Samantha Burchill loved their daughter but had no difficulty releasing her into the wild to be studied alongside the chimpanzees of Pan-Dora Island. Impulsive and spontaneous, Chiku proved an apt student, ultimately surpassing her parents in her ability to mingle and communicate with the forest chimpanzees. Pan, the primary male. Scallion, Chiku’s birth mate. Scopes, the provocateur. She plays with them, fashions tools with them, sleeps in their nests, hunts and forages. For Chiku the aboriginal, the primitive, is normal. Then just after her eleventh birthday, everything changes. Chiku witnesses the horrifying death of her mother, pulled out of their boat by a Mamba River crocodile, and her father, Seth Flynn at last sends her ‘home’ to the United States and to a normal teenager’s life.

The problem is, Chiku can’t adapt. Five years and a dozen schools can’t bring her in line. Therapists and psychiatrists can’t figure her out. The pills, when she decides to take them, have no effect. She prefers rolling her own joints and risking life and limb on crazy urban stunts on her roller blades. She is the proverbial wild child, obstinate, defiant, and hopeless. There is a dark side to her past that no one can penetrate. Life is without direction or goal. It is simply experienced and often with catastrophic results. Then Seth Flynn disappears, the chimpanzees he has been studying begin acting crazily, and Chiku’s life is thrown onto a second life-altering course, only this time she is going back to Africa, back to the jungle, where she can put to profound use the one great skill she has: she can communicate with her father’s abandoned chimpanzees using sign language.

The rain forest is in turmoil when Chiku arrives with her older half-sister Cary, a journalist who does not like or trust her defiant sibling. Civil War has led to a massing of refugees on the outskirts of the national park. Poachers are hunting and killing chimpanzees for food or sale. Mining interests and timber companies want to displace the chimpanzees for their own profit. Chiku’s father may well have been a victim of their desires. With the human world threatening to destroy the rain forest and turn Seth Flynn’s chimpanzees into something they have never been, Chiku must step in and reclaim her life and that of the beings she grew up loving.

Pan-Dora Island is sixteen-year old Chiku Flynn’s line in the sand. She is naïve and fearless, guts and fists rather than charm and make-up, a tomboy growing fast into womanhood. The lives of the chimpanzees and the safety of the refugees depend upon her. The affections of three young men hang upon her adolescent desires. She is the focus of bispecies attention and the target of assassins intent on finishing their work. Bruised and jaded by life before she has tasted her first kiss, Chiku Flynn is not a girl to mess with. Yet, if anyone knows anything about love and true devotion, it is Chiku Flynn.

Up Close

The thing about me is that I …..have never given up the hope of seeing my name on the NY Times best seller list.

When I first get up in the morning, I ….. fight the urge to go back to sleep, put a bagel in the toaster oven, wash and head off to work. If I’m writing, the story and its characters go with me everywhere.

The most important thing in my life is …..  my three children, Leah, William and Stephen. May they some day deign to read something I’ve written.

I love to travel to ….. Mars. I always wanted to go into space. My first reading pleasure was the work of sci-fi masters like Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury. On earth, I wouldn’t mind visiting New Zealand. My cousin had a bed and breakfast there.

In my spare time, I ….. write. Though, now that my novel is coming out, I have to market. Everyone says, you have to use the social media. Sigh.

One thing I learned about life was ….. success doesn’t come easy. Patience, perseverance and a never-say-die attitude are vital for any goal worth achieving.

The sole mission I am on this earth is to ….. procreate, apparently. I’ve done my part with the three kids. I’d love to see my novels go forth and multiply, too. So far, they’re just going forth.

One little known fact about me that might surprise you is ….. my good cholesterol balances my bad cholesterol the way my good writing balances my bad. It’s hard to say when any of it is leading.

My favorite time of day is ….. early morning for the creative process. Then late at night when all is quiet and I can finally rest with a sense that just maybe I accomplished something today.

I love to write about … things that will provoke thought, debate and discussion. It’s not enough to write to entertain. The communication of ideas if it is done in an even-handed and subtle way is just as important as creating a page-turning chase or hot love scene.

The most difficult aspect about writing is ….. the prep work, especially for someone who has a bit attention deficit issues. I need to plot and strategize, know my characters and have a firm outline before I begin with the story. Marketing once the novel is complete is not only hard, it is totally unsettling.

My most favorite aspect about writing is ….. creating new worlds inhabited by unforgettable people and drawing the reader in so deeply, they don’t want to return to the real world.

When I became a published author for the first time, I ….. couldn’t wait to tell everyone I knew. I was so excited. It came after more than three decades of writing, after hundreds of rejections. And it happened shortly before my father died, so he was able to share in the joy.

The inspiration behind my book comes from…    my own curiosity about the world around me, from my daughter’s love of reading, and from my need to communicate to the world that we need to take threats to our environment more seriously than we are.

The most asked question about my book is ….. how did I come up with all of these ideas? The answer? They’ve been living with me for a long time.


Peter Clenott is a graduate of Bowdoin College and hails from Portland, Maine. He is the author of the archaeological adventure Hunting the King and currently has three children and lives in Haverhill.

Visit his website at:  www.peterclenott.net

Twitter:  https://twitter.com.PeterClenott

Pump Up Your Book and Peter Clenott are teaming up to give you two chances to win a $25 Amazon/Kobo Gift Cards and more!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.

This promotion will run from August 5 – September 28. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2013.

Each blogger who participates in the Devolution virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Devolution Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Tuesday, August 6 – Guest blogging at Raven Reviews

Wednesday, August 7 – Book featured at Plug Your Book

Thursday, August 8 – Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Monday, August 12 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Thursday, August 15 – Interviewed at Broowaha

Friday, August 16 -Book featured at Examiner

Tuesday, August 20 – Guest blogging at Newsvine

Friday, August 23 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life

Monday, August 26 – Interviewed at Blogher

Tuesday, August 27 – Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, August 28 – 1st chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, August 29 – Guest blogging at Allvoices

Friday, August 30 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, September 3 – Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, September 4 – Guest blogging at She Writes 

Friday, September 6 – Book review and Guest blogging at True Book Addict

Wednesday, September 11 – Book featured at Read 2 Review

Thursday, September 12 – Interviewed at Examiner

Friday, September 13 – Guest blogging at Between the Covers

Monday, September 16 – Guest blogging at Redroom

Wednesday, September 18 – Book feature at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Thursday, September 19 – Book reviewed at Create With Joy

Friday, September 20 – Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, September 24 – Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Wednesday, September 25 – Guest blogging at Straight From the Author’s Mouth

Thursday, September 26 – Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Friday, September 27 – 1st chapter reveal at Literary Winner


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