Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Author Interview: Dr. George H. Elder

Author Pic - original.jpg     Dr. George H. Elder has a Ph.D. from Penn State in Speech Communication and a Masters Degree in nonfiction Writing from UNH. He also has a very eclectic work and personal history. He has been a college teacher, custodian, upper-level scholar, drug addict, weight lifting coach, bouncer, and much more. He has authored numerous articles in the popular press and even a scientific text book that examines the neuropsychological basis of human communication. He has also addressed subjects such as philosophy, free speech, weight training, drug use, nutrient effects, street life, and a wide range of other issues. His varied life experiences and education give him a unique and interesting perspective, and he often weaves philosophical insights and pathos into his texts. His books are action-oriented, but they do not have simplistic plots wherein good vs. evil or some other hackneyed approach is used. Instead, Elder employs plot shifts that allow the characters and readers to question the relationships we often take for granted. For example, a hero may do great wrongs while a species once perceived as malicious can be revealed to be honorable and wise. This offers refreshing and exciting perspectives for readers as they delve into Elder's texts, for one never knows what to expect.

Favorite reads?
I love the ancients, and especially Plato's dialogues. Their depth is impressive, even after 2,400 years. My favorite reads from modern popular Sci-Fi authors are Dune by Frank Herbert, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams, and I, Robot by Isaac Asimov--which is probably my favorite. Of the more obscure, I loved Escape from Hell by Niven & Pournelle. Hey, a writer sentensed to hell who finds a way out is a good plot to me--and one I may have to use one day!

Inspirations for the Book?
The Dr. Who series was right up there in terms of inspiring the series, although a more savage version of Laura Croft was also a factor. But what most inspired me was the philosophical underpinnings of how we view ourselves and our roles in the universe. I wanted to examine a character who held on to her faith and beliefs despite being a traumatized outcast.  She feels like one of the chosen, destined by God to do great things. She becomes disillusioned after discovering she is the creation of a duplicitous people, and she is soon reduced to despising herself, her history and her ideals. That journey into despair, and then back out--well, that was the real inspiration. Hey, life ain't easy.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
I never envisioned being an author when I was a child. Life was hard, and I forged a dream world to escape some unpleasant realities. I suspect it was the dreams and fantasies that drove me into writing, although I didn't start getting published until I was in my late twenties. At that time, I only wrote nonfiction, and had numerous articles published in some large magazines. I didn't start writing Sci-Fi until I was 55 of so!

Pet Peeves?

The arrogance that often goes hand-and-hand with being an academic is a loathsome thing. I hated it when I was in the academy, and still despise this kind of pretentious behavior.

Chocolate or peanut butter?
Definitely chocolate, and all kinds of it. Creamy smooth peanut butter is nice, but chocolates activate some neat neurotransmitters.

The weirdest thing you've ever done.
I was a drug addicted ne'er-do-well as a young man, and had a litany of dreary and odd experiences. One of the strangest things I did was take five hits of very powerful blotter acid (Mr. Natural) to get me out of a dangerous depression. It was an experience...

Is there a sound track to the book/favorite music?
I got stuck in the classic rock-and-roll era, and just love that stuff. I hate disco, rap, heavy metal, etc., and Classical music just doesn't do all that much for me. Just give me some Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Idol, or ELO when I feel a bit rowdy, or some America, Simon and Garfunkel, or Cat Stevens when I want to be mellow. But when I am writing, there can be no music.

Do you need anything to write?
Nah, when my muse is at work, I get up in the morning and pounce on that computer. For the next four to seven hours, there is no time, no nothing--just total focus. I love it! Then I tire, and need to eat--and will not return to work until the following day. When my muse isn't there, life sucks in general. In short, I need to be on the hunt. I need to research and write. That is my reason for being, and the only thing I can still do given my failing body.

How long do you write on any average day?
It varies, but I would say the average is four hours. However, I'm always getting up to scribble down notes, sometimes with ideas that will wake me from a sound sleep.

Give us the number one reason to read this book.
Its a compelling and adventurous quest story about the very survival of existence--and a tale wherein one comes to care about the characters. On a deeper level, Kara's search for a reason/purpose is one we all must face sooner or later. Moreover, her need to see herself for what she is and to change accordingly is also something most of us deal with, however harsh the realizations. In short, her journey leads to same end many of us seek, a kind of shared being--call it love, if you will.

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childofdestiny6.jpg   The universe’s expansion is nearing the inevitable end where everything is devoured by entropy. The key to having a future is a legendary metaphysical being known only through ancient tales. The last hope is to awaken this dormant Seeker, the missing energy source, who possesses the capacity to link the entire universe in thought and deed. The Seeker alone may be able to rekindle the sparks of a new universal cycle.

The remaining advanced species desperately want existence to continue, and send for missions to search for the Seeker. One mission unexpectedly and inexplicably materializes on a primitive world inhabited by the Labateen, a Stone-Age warrior culture. Here they encounter Kara, an outcast Labateen noble woman and fierce warrior. Kara knows details about the Seeker’s litany that go well beyond coincidence, although to Kara they are simply the ways ofGod. 

Is Kara the key to locating the long lost Seeker? And what of the races who believe existence should end in an entropic whimper and who will not sit by while others attempt to alter the end of the universe. Lofty ideals give way to brutal pragmatism as a confederation of races struggles to survive and save existence. 

Child of Destiny is Book 1 of The Genesis Continuum trilogy. Book 2, Pursing a Legend, is available now on Kindle. Book 3, Forging a Future, will be available in early 2012.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome interview, looks great on your site!

    ~marie borthwick, novel publicity