However, I do want to talk about my newly released novel, Eternity. It is available in ebook now and will be available in print by June 20th. Rather than gush over myself with an intro to the interview, I'll just answer the questions I ask everyone else. Then all of you can feel free to gush if you want--especially over my beautiful cover by the magnificent Bosha Struve. I really do LOVE it! She's a genius.
What was the initial spark that put this story in your head?
As with most of my books, it wasn't a single spark but several things that collided over a long period of time and then hit me over the head one day. Sometime in the mid 1990's I read an article in the science magazine Nature. (Of course, then it wasn't on the web.) The article described scientists in Antarctica taking deep core samples in the ice. The purpose was to determine if the ozone hole had grown over the last couple hundred years. I was mesmerized by the idea of core samples revealing anything about past conditions. Then I wondered, what else could be found in that sample? Diseases? Cures? What else could the jetstream carry over the poles and deposit in the ice?
Fast forward about twenty years when I was working at a medical university which served four or five hospitals and was doing a lot of health-related research. The core sample idea came back to me and I wondered what if the sample yielded some type of virus? A virus the world hadn't seen in thousands of years. What if the ages of people in the Bible (some purported to be 800+ years old) was true. Could it be that a virus existed in the time of Abraham or Moses that allowed people to live longer?
And if we found that virus today and were able to give it to people what would happen? Would we give it to everyone? Or would we use it as a means of power? Would we charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for it and save it for the few? If we distributed it widely, would we keep it from certain kinds of people? Why? Would there be people who didn't want to live for 800 years, perhaps people who thought it was against the natural order of things? How would those people rebel? Of course, if everyone lives that long over population becomes a huge problem very quickly, and that brings all kinds of social chaos. Thus an entire world was born.
It seems that most authors use something from their own lives, or the lives of people they know as an integral part of the story. Is there anything in this story like that? If so, what?
Because this is a made up world in the future, it isn't directly from my life. However, many of the difficulties of this world are extrapolations from difficulties in our own world. As with many Science Fiction authors who deal in social systems, I examine things in my made up world that are reflections of things happening today that really bother me. For example, every time I read about kidnaped children or human trafficking, I shudder. Every time I read about the horrific things some countries to do their own people cry for the inhumanity of it and wonder why we haven't evolved to be better people? Every time I read about people who join cults in order to feel accepted or a part of something, I wonder how religion is or can be perverted to motivate people toward a specific agenda. All of these things are magnified in my dystopian world.
However, in spite of all the evil in the world, I still truly believe that good will triumph in the end. That there are people who will stand up for right and be counted and fight for their beliefs. And those are the people who are my prime characters. The characters, of course, don't always agree on what is right or how to get there. But they do fight for their beliefs and they do each in their own way win back something for humanity.
Is there a particular scene in this book that you really loved when you finished it? Which one and why?
There are many scenes I love, but I think my favorites are the dialogs between the three main characters--Miki, Rohin, and Anna. They are a threesome that discovered the virus together and fight each other, and sometimes fight together throughout the book. I think each one of them represents the difficult decisions we all face in life when we have to choose a direction in the face of huge odds. It is these types of decisions that make us really look at all of our prejudices--really evaluate what is most important and what we are willing to sacrifice to get it.
What's next for you? Can you tell us about any upcoming releases? Will you be traveling in the next few months where readers can find you?
My next release is a Romantic Suspense novel, EXPENDABLE, from The Wild Rose Press. It will be available in August. It also plays with some futuristic ideas, but a little closer to today's biotechnology--dealing with stem cells and gene manipulation. I hope everyone will keep an eye for it.
You can buy ETERNITY in ebook from these booksellers. When the print version releases on June 20th you will be able to buy it print from then or have your local bookstore order it. I'd love to hear from anyone about what you think living for 800 years might be like? Would you want to live that long or would you fight it?