Author Q&A

I get a lot of questions concerning, GAMMA… so I’ve decided to share and answer them publicly rather than come up with my own list of ‘questions for the author’. The beautiful thing about doing this via the website is that I can add to it, or expound, as the questions continue to come in. By the way, if you have a question not already answered below, then please email me and I’ll get back with the answer as soon as possible. If it’s an intriguing question, one I think other readers would also be interested in, you just might see it added to this website… in which case, I thank you very much. (Let me know in the email if you want your name attributed to the question.)

*This page is updated often, as the questions filter in, so check back in every now and again. And don’t forget, if you have a question not already addressed, please ask me. If I don’t know the answer, we’ll learn it together.*

Q: When does this story take place? (From annatosis)

A: This is without a doubt the most frequent question that I get. It also makes me squirm the most. Clearly, it’s not now. I’ll settle on: In the not so distant future, but not in the year 2207… so not now, not near, but also not too far ahead. Shifty answer, I know. The thing is I’m of the opinion that—unless there is good reason to, such as it being integral to the storyline—it’s better to avoid slapping a date on a story. I did some calculations once—way back—on a notepad (I have no idea where it is) and I think it was around the year 2050, somewhere in that ballpark. The problem with this is that there are several storylines going on, some simultaneously, others not. That 2050-ish figure was based only on one particular story.

Q: (part II of the above timeline question) But what about your mention of East and West America?

A: Alternate history. More to the point, FICTIONAL alternate history. (Although, here lately, sometimes I wonder…)

Q: Wouldn’t we be able to detect a planet in our own solar system, cloaked or not? (From: too many to list, and the question itself was asked in a multitude of ‘how’s-this-possible’ ways)

A: Of course! It’s a good thing I don’t write non-fiction. *Mild tangent alert→ If I allowed our current knowledge to dictate and therefore limit my imagination, then I would’ve never written, GAMMA, DOMUM, or, ARES.* (And I would be very sad if they weren’t written, or if written any other way. I truly enjoyed the journeys.) To quote Carl Sagan, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” And from Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

Q: Genre?

A: A genre menagerie? I consider what I write to be speculative fiction, what I like to call a sort of pseudoscience fiction with a twist of immersive fantasy, and obvious alternate history. It’s a saga spanning several generations and linking multiple perspectives for the purpose of providing an accurate historical account for one of the main characters. ARES, which will be Book 3 of the series, takes place on Mars and leans a little more toward the harder facts of science. However, ‘impossibilities’ abound in, ARES. Science fascinates me, especially Astronomy—space and time buckle my knees. Evolution (and yes, its sibling, Biology!) has intrigued me since I was a small child. We Homo sapiens have learned a lot about our world, our solar system, this galaxy, and we’re rapidly understanding the cosmos more and more every day, but we don’t know everything. Not yet. We imagine, we question, and we seek the answers. Imagination leads us to question the fundamental workings of our existence—who are we, how are we, is there a why, and most importantly, are we on our own—and our questions lead us to discoveries.

Q: Is there a significance with the point of view (POV)? (From Cleen) I noticed random lines and paragraphs in italics that weren’t “thoughts” of characters, who was that? I.e. In chapter 1, with the two cloaked figures who saw what was happening. Later it’s explained that one was Chaza, but who was the other, and “who” is making these statements? (From ghull)

A: (I lumped these two questions together because they are related.) In a nutshell, GAMMA, is written in an omniscient voice that is mostly ‘hushed’, but those occasional passages in italics are definitely that ‘other’ unnamed voice/character. (Ambiguous hint: A more precise statement would be, ‘unnamed voices/characters… as in plural.) There is a reason for why it’s written the way that it is, but this is not explained until the end of, DOMUM, Book 2. It would be too big a spoiler to answer this question fully. If it comes up again after DOMUM is published, then I will go into more detail at that time. (Extra tidbit: ARES, Book 3, is written in first person, past tense.)

Q: Are you going for a litfic/genre crossover? Sometimes the narration comes across as formal, other times conversational. Is there some great reveal at the end of Book #2 that explains the voice you chose? (Combined questions/comments from Mark and Wilde)

A: I hate to do this, but ‘see above question’ on POV. As I mentioned on the foreshadowing page, I have had a few readers who emailed me with, ‘Is [this] what’s going to happen?’ These emails are the most difficult for me to address because, yes, they nailed it (or came close to it). So how do I respond? ‘You’ll have to wait and see’ (which to me comes across as pretentious and condescending). Or do I answer with the truth and risk spoiling it for them? I do my best to answer the question without giving the end away… but I promise you, I feel like a politician every time I click send!

Yes, much of the time the narration is somewhat flowery. A snipped quote that comes from the end of Book 2 sums it up a bit: “…a tendency to ‘prose it up a purple notch.’ Sneaked-in opinions, and ‘real, less artsy-fartsy, language’ were compliments of…” So to answer the question, yes, there is a ‘reveal’.

Q: When will Book 2 be available? (From many, and that was quite some time ago.)

A: I’m working on it. Seriously, I’m working hard, and to the exclusion of all else… just ask my friends and family!

Q: You mentioned in the acknowledgments that Lost was an inspiration, any others? (From Marie.)

A: Doctor Who, Arthur C. Clarke, the Harry Potter series, Chronicles of Narnia, the bible (loosely), Sherlock, The Celestine Prophecy, and a bunch of others that I’m forgetting.

Q: What is Drake Quinlan?

A: The physical embodiment of an ancient aurora from a dead solar system and the last of the Lucusan race. (That is, ‘last’ until, DOMUM, Book 2.)

Q: Where are these manmade islands located? (From Hullster, and several others.)

A: First, let’s be clear: These are fictitious islands, 100% pure imagination, they do not exist. That said, these imaginary islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the southeastern portion of ‘East America’. They are north of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southwest of Bermuda.

Q: How does your book, Silentis, tie in to this series? League of Worlds, right?

A: The series is tentatively called The League of Worlds. I don’t know if it’s because GAMMA, Book 1, came out first, but I’ve been getting a lot of, ‘your Gamma series,’ comments and questions. A couple of times, there were references to, ‘your Silentis series’, which I found interesting since I had considered this term way back when. It doesn’t matter to me how any one person chooses to reference the series. Everyone is an individual. Silentis ties in to the series in this way: It is somewhat a prequel in the ‘historical’ background sense, but mostly a name-dropper of characters’ ‘ancestry’ for future developments.

Q: Why all the Latin-based and Greek words/terminology?

A: Good question. Bad answer: I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by ancient languages. However, I will say that language will be discussed further in Book 2. Some ‘explanations’ will be revealed.

Q: How many books are you planning for this series? (From: Everyone I know!)

A: I hate goodbyes, they’re so final. I’ll let myself and the readers guide me on when to stick a fork in it and call it done.

Q: What are ‘sea oats’? (From Ella)


Wolf’s Den of Balderdash
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