Friday, November 15, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond

Hello all you lovely folks! I hope your week was more fabulously bizarre than the thought of William Shatner tangoing with Cher.

I'm not going to lie, I spent an hour of my day at work traveling around the offices using only a rolling chair for transportation. My boss has never been so proud that she hired me, I'm sure. 

I want to give a quick shout out to the lovely group of ladies who hosted "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and I at their book club this past Tuesday. It was wonderful chatting with everyone! Thank you all for reading!

This week I had the opportunity to interview science fiction author George Sirois who wrote this tome:

George Sirois' "Excelsior" has everything young, and older, science fiction fans could ask for. It has an underdog hero, evil alien villains, interplanetary space travel and enough room for a readers' imaginations to run rampant. "Excelsior" tells the story of an unlikely hero, Matthew, who finds himself thrown into a role much bigger than he could ever have dreamed. Readers who enjoyed books like Gary Paulsen's "The Transall Saga"or Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" will find "Excelsior" worth their time.

So, without too much more meandering, an interview with George Sirois.

1. Where did you find inspiration for writing "Excelsior?"

I started developing this character in 1992, after seeing the 1981 John Boorman movie Excalibur. I'd been working on a group of characters since 1985 and wanted to add someone new. He was to be a mythic figure, a god made into human form, with a sword. I took elements of Jesus Christ, King Arthur and my childhood hero, Optimus Prime. I always loved the word "Excelsior" - it's on the New York state flag, it's featured in Star Trek III, IV and VI, Stan Lee uses it to end his Marvel Comics bulletins - and it seemed to be the right name for someone like him.

2. Did you base your main character, Matthew, off of anyone specific, is he conglomeration of multiple people or was he entirely imagined?

Matthew was a combination of myself and my cousin, Matthew Peter Henkel. He passed away in 2005, and he was always a hero to me, having dealt with cancer and then going on to be an Eagle Scout, a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. I wanted to honor Matt by naming my main character after him, and I used elements from my own childhood for earlier moments, when the character Matthew was unsure of himself and his abilities. 

3. What music did you listen to while writing these adventures?

 Mainly film scores. I've been a fan of them all my life and I put together a special playlist of songs from Thirteen Days and Dark City by Trevor Jones, Hoffa by David Newman, Clear and Present Danger by James Horner, Transformers by Steve Jablonsky and King Arthur by Hans Zimmer. 

4. The planet on which most of your plot unfolds is called Denab IV, what happened to Denab's I, II and III?

Denab I, II and III still exist. They're the three closest planets to the sun of that star system. When Excelsior first created the system, he chose the fourth planet to be the "jewel" of all the planets of Denab, the only one that could sustain life.

5. If you could play Mario Kart with one other character from "Excelsior," which one would you want to play against and why?

I would play against Nick, the bully that pursues Matthew's friend Thomas. He's someone worth playing just so he can be humiliated. I enjoyed writing the villainous Krunations, especially General Hodera, Danaak and Nocterar. But I hated Nick for the kind of guy he was.

6. This book is billed as being for young readers. Have you found that has actually been your main audience thus far, or have you had an equal or greater amount of adult readers as well?

There's been a good mix. I never wanted to say "you've never seen anything like this before," because I already know that you have. At least the men and women of my generation have seen this kind of story before. It's my take on Campbell's "Hero's Journey," but younger readers aren't as familiar with that template and when I recently spoke to a grade school classroom, I could sense a great deal of enthusiasm from the kids. 

7. What was the most difficult part about writing "Excelsior?"

Accepting the fact that every chapter is not perfect after its initial writing. 

8. What other works do you think fed into your writing style the most?

 Great question. I grew up reading a lot of movie tie-in adaptations, and I've always felt that my style was very cinematic. I see my stories as movies that I don't have the budget to put on the big screen. 

9. If you had to choose between fending off an angry mongoose with nothing but a broken waffle iron or read all of the "Twilight" series in English, Swahili and Portuguese to the sounds of iced tea being stirred, which would you choose?

Bring it on, Mongoose!!!

If you are interested in "Excelsior" you can find it here, Amazon and for the Nook or if you are interested in finding out more about George Sirois you can follow this link.

As always, if you want to follow my day to day escapades you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!

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