Recently Marcha was kind enough to invite me to participate in a Blog Tour. I gladly obliged, which resulted in the opportunity to not only hawk my new project, Philistia, but allow my fab followers to learn more about one of indie lit’s best and brightest new sci-fi authors!
Here’s Marcha’s questions along with JRD’s answers:
1. What are you working on at the moment?
Philistia is a young adult speculative fiction Christian novel centering on a 21st century reappearance of Samson and Delilah. They find themselves in the desert outside of Bethlehem and get picked up by the police after terror attack warnings have been issued due to hostilities along the Gaza Strip. They escape and become ‘persons of interest’ to Shin Bet (the Israeli Bureau of Investigation) as well as Hamas, who know that Samson’s superhuman strength can be of use in their terror campaign. The couple are unsure of how they ended up in the 21st century, but have a vision of returning to the ancient land of Philistia, which has become part of the modern Gaza Strip. They become embroiled in the struggle between Jews, Muslims and Christians in trying to make the peace between their strange new friends.
2. How does your work differ from others of this genre?
I don’t think anyone’s tried to modernize the Samson and Delilah tale for fear of getting egg all over their faces. Samson’s superhuman strength is noteworthy but not all that formidable in the face of the firepower available to the IDF and Hamas. The female protagonist, Delilah, becomes the key figure as she has to use all her legendary wiles to get them out of mess after mess. The redeeming value is the lesson that the spirit of love and peace are lost all too often in modern-day religious conflicts.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Historical fiction is probably more essential now than ever as history is repeating itself and these Millenials have no idea how we got here. Moreover, cracking the history books is probably as exciting to most people as mowing the lawn or doing dishes. If an author can explain the deeper meanings of current day issues and leave readers with an inspiring message, then you’ve done a good deed for the day.
4. How does your writing process work?
I switch on the TV. Al Jazeera, the BBC and CNN give me all the material I can possibly use. I just need to find a couple of dynamic characters, give them some great JRD dialogue, come up with a great storyline and a dynamic ending. Presto, I’ve got a great JRD novel they’ll appreciate long after I’m dead and gone.
And my question for Marcha:
How have your professional lives influenced your career as a science fiction writer?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. Picky person that I am I figured I needed to know what I was doing if I wanted to write science fiction. Saying “I read a book once” didn’t seem adequate. So I went back to school at 35 and got a physics degree. I didn’t have the luxury of staying home to write so went to work for a small aerospace company then eventually got on as a NASA contractor. I was there 21 years and gathered a lot of experience. I got to see a lot of very cool places and meet awesome people as well as absorb the culture and its inherent bureaucratic nature as a government agency. All along I was writing in the evening and whenever I could between raising 6 kids and all the other stuff that goes along with it. When I finally was able to retire I decided it was time to get back to it. So here I am. The astrology evolved from book research a long time ago. I didn’t believe in it at the time but soon discovered it worked. I eventually went to school to qualify as a professional, set up a website and started doing readings to supplement my retirement. It’s pretty antithetical to physics on the surface but not really since early physicists like Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler were astrologers simply trying to gather more accurate data for their readings. Someday I hope to write a book to tie all that back together.
Check out Marcha’s Amazon page at: