INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?
Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?
WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?
Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.
DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.
IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?
Ketchup, the miracle condiment.
ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE
OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?
I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle.
Eb Scrooge is left to run Avocado, Inc., an innovative technology business, all alone. An introverted shut-in locked away in a Colorado mansion, only his servant droids keep him company. Until the gifts arrive.
When Kandi’s dad gets a mysterious call, they fly to a tropical island. Despite the heat, his sunburned client wears a heavy cloak. The world doesn’t know it yet, but Santa Claus is missing. Kandi knows where he is.
There's one Christmas story no one has ever heard, the legend of the biggest and baddest reindeer of them all, the one who leads the sleigh and protects the herd. Billy Big Game doesn’t want to discover the last reindeer. He wants to capture him.
A very good read with an ending that will not disappoint. –Review for Humbug
Even Dickens would approve. –Review for Humbug
You'll LOVE Humbug! –Review for Humbug
Another great addition to the Claus series –Review for Humbug
A great retelling of a classic story - with a sci-fi twist. –Review for Humbug
A total 10! I love it. –Review for Humbug
I absolutely love his Christmas series. –Review for The Rise of the Miser
All of these winter wonderland characters are given new and meaningful outlooks as the author re-writes their stories… –Review for The Rise of the Miser
A must read for all Santa followers. –Review for The Rise of the Miser
Great characters and an awesome twist at the end. –Review for The Rise of the Miser
I love everything he has every written but this is a personal favorite!!! –Review for The Rise of the Miser
"Tony does it again! Another fabulous installment in the world of Claus that takes me back to my childhood but adds a whole new perspective!" -- Review for Ronin
"Absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED Ronin" -- Review for Ronin
"I absolutely loved it!" -- Review for Ronin
"The greatest EVER!" -- Review for Ronin
"Pick up the Claus series and transform the holiday season into something unbelievable." -- Review for Ronin
"I loved the book!! Kept me guessing for a long time! I even had to go back and reread the rest of the series! " -- Review for Ronin
John Lively was a mouth-breather that no one cared about. He was an over-sized sixth grader destined to be incarcerated. God wasted a body on him.
Harold was a curious loner that sat in the back. Unlike John's family, Harold's parents loved him. They just didn't have time for him. They spent days in the basement working on something that would change the world. Sometimes it was weeks. Harold was tired of being forgotten and pushed around. He pushed back.
That day would change the world.
That day would change him into the man he was destined to become. His curiosity would lead him to Foreverland.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Almost all of my books have names with special meaning, some foreshadowing a big twist. In The Annihilation of Foreverland, Reed’s name was symbolic of his ability to tolerate suffering, bending in the face of gale forces but never breaking.
WHERE DOES YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
Sometimes, I can’t remember how the story started by the time I get to the end. The Annihilation of Foreverland started with the premise of identity. I wanted to write it as a YA book in the science fiction dystopia genre in a way that slowly unfolded as well as questioned who we are and explore our fear of death, and what we’re willing to do to avoid it. Like all of my stories, it does have a romantic angle mixed into the action. Because it should.
GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN.
I failed because there’s only one female in The Annihilation of Foreverland. However, the young adult sequel (Foreverland is Dead) passes with flying colors since its mostly female characters that rarely talk about men.
WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?
The bodies die, but not necessarily the characters. Chew on that a second.
DO YOU WANT YOUR TOMORROW TO MAKE IT BIG, AS IN JK ROWLINGS-BIG? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Believe it or not, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to make enough cash to pay off this house and send my kids to college, but I’ll pass on fame and fortune. Anonymity is a blessing.
YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?
In The Annihilation of Foreverland, I only casted two characters in my head while I was writing it. The Director is Jeff Bridges and Mr. Jones is Anthony Hopkins. It was like watching a movie as I wrote.
HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN? WHAT DREW YOU TO YOU THIS GENRE?
I’ve been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather’s science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and alternate realities and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that’s why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body?
What am I?
A few years ago, I figured I’d write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love. Science fiction.