(2001-10-21)Q: Can you tell us a bit about "The Kaska Trilogy"?
A: Kaska, the protagonist and solitary human in the SF story, fakes his death and settles on Gam in his repudiation of Earth that he considers "a hopeless ball of poisoned mud." He finds outre chameleon-like creatures that he dubs "snipes" but later discovers them to be a non-indigenous species, the Tunkati, masters of incandescence who worship light and intellect. The further he interfaces with these entities, the more he is led to believe that he must alter his physiology to appreciate their mysteries. He becomes a hybrid and a part of them. As he joins their agendas, he encounters the Rhymp, a blind, sonic species that unknowingly freezes all life forms unlike themselves and the Laikem, tactilate creatures that rise out of the Gam surface to assist Kaska and the Tunkati in battling the Rhymp. The Trilogy unfolds with tragic wars, brilliant scientific accomplishments, a multitude of subterfuge and ignominious plots, incredibly audacious resurrections and some monumental perceptions on how we humans live our lives.
Q: What do you see as the main themes of this series?
A: That a man can overcome any dilemma if he is persistent and motivated. That love is still the most powerful force in the universe, regardless of where or with whom. That all species possess innate majesty as well as a plethora of foibles. That many human emotions are actually galactic, though alien responses may differ.
Q: What has been your major inspiration sources?
A. Ian McKaskill, a.k.a.Kaska, was inspired by Angus McKaskill a real life human giant that I describe in the introduction to Pmat, the 2nd novel. The aliens were inspired by my desire to show that SF need not rely upon the stereotypes of little green men, wide-eyed, thin, gray emaciates, or bipeds with a host of assorted colors and plastic appendages. Being rather technical, I also sought to show that technological marvels can indeed, in some cases, regulate and control the inconstancies of nature, but certainly not always.
Q: What led you to start writing in the first place?
A. As a child, my parents exposed me to most of the culture available in NYC and I decided early on to be creative. I have been a successful artist (oils & watercolors) a musician (performer, conductor, composer & teacher) and now a writer. In 1970 I wrote my first book, Prana which went nowhere because of my lack of contacts. Now, with the marvelous entrpreneurship of outfits like Writers Club Press, which is iUniverse & Barnes & Noble, POD has made my literary dreams possible. I have discovered myself to be prolific at the very time when I need such an outlet.
Q: How much research do you put into your novels?
A: Some. My wife Sandra is a very good researcher and helps me with non-technical issues, especially in my attempts to be original without repeating the ideas of others or stepping on author's toes. The technical domain is one in which I have some fluency and only rarely have to scope out anything in depth.
Q: What plans do you have for the future?
A: Writers Club Press is in the process of publishing my 2nd series, The Chronicles of Zusalem. The Find is a fantasy that concerns an ancient chamber buried under the Tiahuanaco palace in Bolivia. Its sequel, Pathandu takes place near the Potala in Tibet. Both incorporate mythological elements with fresh conceptualizations. Waiting in the wings are other completed books such as Furnace, a novel that broaches a new interpretation of human spontaneous combustion and its solution. Luna Parabella is a novel that deals with the future colonization of the moon. Happenings will be a collection of SF/F short stories.
Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?
A: POD is accomplished on the E and my website has made a real difference in the promotion of my works. Of course, I have come into contact with some very special and generous people who have assisted me such as Neil Cladingboel associated with sffworld.com, Carol Kluz who helps a lot of aspiring writers and Sarah Mankowski who maintains a literary site of her own at wordthunder.com. The web may possibly make the print process or the publishing industry less poignant, considering the impact it seems to be having. The point is, people and the web are interchangeable, and that didn't really exist back in 1970. Nowadays, with Bertelsmann holding the reins on the publishing world, the web just might be the breakthrough for gifted writers who tire of rejection slips, especially for non-celebrities like me.