Q: When did you begin to write your first story?
When I was a kid! I used to write stories all the time as a child. If you’re asking about stories that someone other than my mom would read, however, I self-published my first book at age forty.
Q: Did your careers help shape your stories?
Absolutely. My first career was in the biotech industry. I have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s in medical science. A lot of sci-fi focuses on advanced engineering and physics. I try to weave in a biological angle.
Duatero is a great example. In this novel, a human colony struggles to survive on an alien planet. I grounded the alien biology and subsequent challenges the colonists faced in real biochemistry.
Since my life in biotech, I joined the dark side and transitioned into business and subsequently into post-secondary education. For my doctorate, I studied organizational wisdom (it’s not an oxymoron – I promise). That research delves deep into the nuance and politics of social systems. In my writing, characters struggle with this nuance.
Q: Tell us, readers, what your science fiction novel, Duatero, is about.
Duatero means ‘second earth.’ The setting is a planetary colony that mysteriously lost contact with earth centuries ago. The nascent civilization managed to eke out an existence, but as the ages wore on, their technology failed, and myth replaced knowledge. The society survived but fought a slow retreat spanning generations.
They have now reached a tipping point. Something has changed in the indigenous flora and fauna, and the colony is unable to protect itself. Society is collapsing as human lands fall to the encroachment of native life.
Kredo is a hero of the falchilo, an order of holy warriors whose sacred duty is to protect human lands from native lifeforms. He and his followers race to understand what has happened to the native lifeforms and save their dying home.
Q: How would you describe your hero, Kredo?
Kredo is lost. He has achieved great deeds but wrestles with the insight he has gained through his career. He knows the colony of Duatero is dying. He also knows that no one understands why, including himself. He believes the weight of his people sits on his shoulders, but he does not know how to save them.
Kredo is a falchilo, Scythe of the Founders, a holy warrior, unyielding in his faith in tradition, yet struggling with the realization that neither faith nor tradition is sufficient to save his world.
Q: What themes will readers find in your novel, Duatero?
Duatero explores the ways societies respond to complex dangers they do not understand. What do you do when you don’t know what to do, and a wrong choice can end your life? Do you fall back on what worked in the past or risk everything doing something new and untested?
Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
I have completed another novel I am polishing and in the process of publishing.
Beyond that, I’m taking a break from novels and working on several light-hearted short stories.
Q: How did you get into the science fiction genre?
Do you mean as a reader or a writer? Let’s do both.
As a reader, I read every genre, but science fiction always calls me back. I am drawn to the themes sci-fi explores and love imagining all the what-ifs the future holds.
As a writer, this is strange, but all the stories that come out of me come out with a fantastical element usually grounded in sci-fi. I got into writing sci-fi because that’s what comes out of me when I sit in front of the computer.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
Read everything. Be voraciously curious.
One of science fiction’s gifts is its ability to look at the human condition through a fantastical lens. World-building allows readers to gain distance from real-world situations, allowing them to approach issues with more objectivity. Another gift is its ability to explore all the possible futures imaginable for our civilization.
Doing that well, I think, requires insight into human nature and science. The more you learn about the world, the richer your science fiction writing will be.
Q: Using three words, how would you describe your writing style?
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
You can buy it through Shadowpaw Press, Amazon, Indigo, and Barnes and Noble.