Sunday, August 21, 2016

An exclusive interview with Timothy C. Ward

Hey readers, we have a special treat today with author Timothy C. Ward of the Sand Divers series as well as the new Godsknife: Revolt. I reviewed his Scavenger: Evolution book on this site and really love his website. He's a great guy as well as very good author.
I love the over-the-top premise of Scavenger A.I.:  

If you discovered the technology that caused the apocalypse, would you use it to resurrect your child?

Hundreds of years ago a nanotech virus nearly wiped out humanity. The kernel of that technology was locked in a buried military base and guarded by a class of sentries. A tyrant has found a way to unleash it while trapping Divemaster Rush and his wife Star inside. 

When he arrives, he plans to use its replicating technology to rebuild America and procure life eternal. If the crew inside can escape, they'd like to use this power for good. But what seems too good to be true may also be too late to reverse. Some wouldn't even if they could, even if what they're becoming is much like the tyrants they're fighting.

As Rush and Star fight for their lives and marriage, they discover a way to resurrect their child. If they do, will he be the one they knew? If not, how far will they go to force what shouldn't be?

Inspired by the world of Sand by Hugh Howey and written with his permission. This stand alone series injects the action of Mad Max: Fury Road into a hostile environment catered to fans of Alien. 

And really enjoy Godsknife's too:

A fleet of enlarged praying mantises has invaded Des Moines, Iowa. Swarms of cicadas are turning survivors into winged soldiers. Orchestrating the warzone is a priestess of Order, who’s pursuing godhood, and the nation of followers who’ll get her there.

Caroline’s new friendship parts the veil between reality and myth, as a recruiter of Order needs her to hide him from capture. In their escape, the boss she’s loved like a father reveals his elevator into the Abyss.

In this new world, Caroline finds a usurped god and an angry ghost eager to make her their getaway back to power. What if the person her friends will need is heartbeats away from becoming the real threat?

Crazy sci-fi is my type of sci-fi! So is the same for fantasy! Without further hesitation, let's get to the interview!

1. So, what books have you got currently out?

I released my first fantasy novel, Godsknife: Revolt this month. I wrote a duology set in Hugh Howey's world of Sand, with Scavenger: Evolution and Scavenger: A.I. 

2. What can you tell us about Scavenger A.I.?

A.I. is a direct sequel to Scavenger: Evolution. The premise for the series is sand divers search for buried cities and uncover the nanotech cause of the apocalypse. It has the feel of Alien or Mad Max: Fury Road if they went underground and uncovered more advanced technology.The cast expands in A.I. from Evolution's single viewpoint of Rush the sand diver who's recently returned to his wife after two years of grieving the loss of his infant.
In A.I. we get his wife's viewpoint as the main driving force, plus his, and a few other characters--all of which helps to root us in the turmoil of their hearts. In A.I. the nanotech is out and rapidly advancing, and Rush's wife wants to use it to resurrect their child from memory and through this new technology.

3. What can you tell us about Godsknife: Revolt?

The pitch I'm giving from my dealer table at WorldCon is giant praying mantises invade Des Moines. It's also a modern take on my love for The Gunslinger, The Stand, and Dragonlance. The cast involves players from three magic systems that have been underground long enough that most people question whether their magic ever existed. An Order priestess aims to change that in a powerplay to attract the council of the gods and earn her place among them.

A prospective college student and the well-meaning, but foolish boy who recruits her must take charge in the new war to save the world. There's also a Chaos doctor with an elevator into the Abyss, which transforms our setting into the New Weird and my version of South Korea were it to be located in another realm. While there, they have to find the godsknife and slay the god of the Abyss, or take it and run so that the Order priestess can't use it for her benefit. 
4. How would you describe the world of Sand Divers?

It centers on a stretch of desert east of the Rocky Mountains in a town situated between a large dune and a wall to keep the westward driven sand from burying their city. Sand divers are in a desperate search for the lost city of Danvar and the riches that might free them from their bleak existence. Those who have fled north get captured or killed by brigands who control the area most people assume is where Danvar is, and those who flee east get captured by slavers run by The Gov. 

5. What is the protagonist of Scavenger A.I. like?

Rush is concerned about the plasma that he and his wife have become addicted to, a power source produced by the Twin Suns nuclear fission reactor stored in the base they uncover. He's also concerned about the nanobots in their system and how it is changing his wife. She gets empowered by her overdose and wants to increase their abilities and opportunity to get revenge over The Gov and the other threats inside the base. She also wants to use this new power to resurrect their son. Somehow they have to survive, and neither one knows for sure how and if this technology is a help or a danger. 

6. What is the protagonist of Godsknife: Revolt?

Caroline has been stuck running her family's farm after the successive deaths of first her mother and then her father a few years ago. She has been working as an unofficial nurse's assistant at a doctor's office run by an undercover Chaos doctor. The day we meet her, she's worked up the nerve to visit Iowa State and interview for their nursing program (something I have to acknowledge doesn't exist in our world, but which does in theirs where World War III has happened and the US didn't fare well).

She meets an undercover recruiter for Order, Anthon, who is 100% behind the philosophy that Order mages can help fix the world, but is less than 100% behind his priestess and how she might be attempting that outcome. He was rescued by an Order mage early in life when his parents tried to take him and his brother into a Chaos clan. The rescue failed to get his younger brother, and if he will never find him, maybe he'll be okay with just making the world a better place for wherever his brother is. 

7. What is your favorite genre to write into and why?

I don't have a preference between writing Fantasy or Science Fiction, but I do seem to always include monsters and impacting emotional conflict between family members--husband to wife, parent to child, etc.

8. Do you think you have a theme in your writing?

I sort of alluded to it above, but yeah, most of my stories take some emotional connection from my life as a husband, father, and somewhat failed I suppose we all have areas in which we feel like we've failed an opportunity and must push on regardless, but sometimes it feels like I've been especially bad. 

9. Who are your influences?

The books I mentioned above, Dragonlance, The Gunslinger, The Stand, etc. Dragonlance was a magical discovery that connected me from being an elementary school reader to novels and that I didn't have to play video games or just watch TV to get an adventure. Stephen King was the next level of maturity up from there. I love how his books get weird but also have such engaging characters. That's how I'd like to focus on my novels. For Dragonlance, I'd like to build the party of imperfect warriors that bring the readers along for the adventure, but in a modern setting.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I am now trying to pick up where I left off with two years ago when I wrote Godsknife: Revolt. Time to get that sequel written.

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