Sunday, November 16, 2014

GodMode Book Interview

What can you tell us about your latest novel, GodMode, without giving anything away?

Corporate workerdrone Elijah Turner awakens inside a cage, and can’t remember how he got there. He is trapped at the bottom sub-level of the corrupt pharmaceutical company he worked at, and must now fight his way out through scores of bizarre and deadly monsters. And the lives of his wife and daughter are at stake. While doing this, he learns startling truths about who he is and how he ended up in this situation. And he doesn’t like what he finds.


How is GodMode similar to the games you create?

Some of the staples used to progress the story are elements found in any good game: exploration, problem solving, resource management, threat assessment, tactics and plain blind luck. But there’s no direct link between my games and Godmode: I create card and board games, while Godmode is styled more like a video game.

What can you tell us about your main character, Elijah Turner?

Due to some rough experiences in his life, Elijah has developed a bit of a mean streak. If you get him mad, then one way or another he will get even. He is an insecure man who constantly seeks affirmation, validation and vindication, and is not above manipulating others to get what he wants. But something happens to change his attitude around, and it happens before he wakes up in that cage. Oh, and he seems to have a bit of an anger management problem…

What can you tell us about the character, Claudius Webster?

Claudius Webster is a decorated war veteran and a brilliant entrepreneur and businessman. He is a charismatic leader and a master motivator. He also has early onset Parkinson’s disease. And sterility from dealing with Agent Orange back in Vietnam. And an inoperable brain tumor which has warped his personality. He wants nothing less than immortality, and will stop at nothing to create the elixir that will give him that, even if it means conducting the most inhumane experiments on any creature – man, insect, or beast – he thinks will help his cause.

What can you tell us about the character, Ithaca?

Ithaca Davidson has been Elijah’s Jiminy Cricket. The bible-waving moral compass of the company has been on a one-man crusade to reverse the culture of corruption at BAAL, and Elijah had become the focal point of that crusade. He tried his hardest to instill integrity and moral accountability in Elijah to keep him away from a dark path. Obviously, he failed. Or did he?

Can you tell us more about Elijah Turner’s wife and daughter, and his home life?

On the surface, the Turners are an idyllic nuclear family. But as with anything nuclear, there is always potential for a meltdown. Keisha has an idealistic view of her husband that might not be entirely accurate with the type of man Elijah is, and it seems she may have married him more for what he isn’t than for who he is. And once the flaws in their marriage rear their ugly heads, it leads Elijah into making some very bad decisions. As for their daughter Elisha, well, let’s just say I’m saving her story for the Godmode sequel (if there ever is one).

How is GodMode important to your readers?

I think the major lesson that Godmode drills home is that no man is beyond redemption. No matter how far astray you’ve gone, you can repent, you can atone, and you can earn a second chance to make things right.

What type of entertainment does GodMode provide for readers?

This story is a wild rollercoaster ride with equal doses of pathos, angst, introspection, white knuckle action and abject terror.

Can you tell us more about the pharmaceutical company, Baal?

Better Aids for Augmented Living Corp. is one of the world’s largest biotech companies, and is a worldwide leader in Pharmaceuticals. Its corporate culture and structure is typical of any large pharmaceutical company. However, very few people know about the multitude of hidden laboratories in the sub-basements underneath the corporate headquarters, and those who do know not to run afoul of Webster’s personal sadist  secretary Miss Tessmacher.

Elijah sporadically remembers his childhood as he gains back his memory. Can you tell us more about Elijah’s background?

Elijah’s father is a self-made success story, who managed to build a successful supermarket despite dropping out of high school. Elijah’s mother is a social status climber who is known as a stellar member of the board of education and insisted Elijah learn at the best schools. There are deep-seeded issues with his parents which caused them to not fully support him when bullies began tormenting him at school. Since no one came to his defense, Elijah was forced to take matters into his own hands, and thus began his descent…

Does GodMode have an interesting background in its creation?

My original plan for Godmode was to have it be like Cast Away or I am Legend, a story about a man completely alone, trying to survive. But I wanted to give the story some wild, Matrix-like action sequences, and an M. Knight Shaymalan twist ending – the hero was really a character in a video game. Early critiques of the first draft showed that this approach wasn’t working at all, so I had to lose the twist ending and the superhuman action sequences, and give the story some real depth.

Who designed your cover and how did you come up with its concept?

Necro’s studio artists did the cover. I’m actually a graphic designer and more than capable of designing my own cover, but I wanted to see someone else’s vision for it this time. My general idea was of having my protagonist surrounded by eldritch monsters.  I think they nailed it.

Is there going to be a sequel to GodMode?

That depends on the readers. I’ve gone on record to say that if my book can garner 10,000 sales, then that would show me there is enough interest for me to write the next act in this saga. I tentatively have this planned as a trilogy, but I need to know that there are people who will support this franchise before I invest the time in writing it. But I will say this: in part 2 we get to see Elisha in action, and she’s even more bad-@$$ than her father.

Are you happy with the direction you took with GodMode?

Yep, but in part two I think I want to drift away from horror and get into more of the action side of the story. Think “Dark Angel.” Jessica Alba was so much more attractive as a brunette…

What was the hardest part about writing GodMode?

My biggest challenge was digging deeper into the characters and conveying their true selves in the story without compromising the structure of the narrative. In other words, balancing character development and plot was a headache. You want to give the characters the right amount of depth and gravitas, but if you spend too much tiome on the character nuances, the story slows down and loses momentum, which is a huge no-no if you’re writing an action and/or suspense-based story.

What advice would you give to other science fiction writers?

The secret to writing good fiction, and especially good speculative fiction, is to make the reader believe in that world that you have created. The goal is to get the reader to see in their mind’s eye what you saw when you created your world. There are many ways to do that, but three are crucial: engaging, nuanced characters the readers care about, solid worldbuilding the readers will want to explore, and something intriguing at the onset to draw the reader into your world. When you are devising your story, focus on those three things first, and the rest will fall into place.

Do you have plans to turn GodMode into a game?

Most definitely. I already have the concept and rules set, as well as the overall idea. The game would be similar to the popular boardgame SPACE HULK, except it’s for multiple players and nobody has to play as the monsters. The only thing keeping me from producing the game is not having the time to do all of the artwork necessary for the gameboard, game pieces and cards that my game would require (and not having the funds to hire any artists). However, if the book succeeds at the level I want it to, that would be enough to hire whoever I want, and coming from an art school I know quite a few very talented artists.

Interview provided by: Debra Mauldin


Synopsis:

Elijah wakes up in a cage, and can barely remember anything about himself or his situation. He fights his way alone to escape a building full of bizarre and deadly monsters, while learning disturbing truths about himself. Once he finds the way out, he has to pass it up and keep fighting to rescue hiw wife and child from his nemesis.

Purchase your copy at: Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords

About the Author:


Quan Williams

Quan Williams has previously published three other books and various short stories, as well as spending two years as a journalist for The Michigan Daily Newspaper. He studied creative writing under the tutelage of Jonis Agee, author of "Strange Angels" and "South of Resurrection."

How to connect: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+


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