Can you tell us about your latest book and why you wrote it?
A: Zaftan Miscreants is the title of my latest book. It's Book 2 of a trilogy and I wrote it because I had so much fun writing the first book. The zaftans are an alien race and I make them as politically incorrect as I possibly can. That's where the fun comes in for both the author and the readers.
Why did you write this book? Is there any “back story” that inspired you to write this book?
I had the idea for Sam, an android a few years ago. Originally, I planned to use to her in a short story. Her job was as a stew-droid on a space ship, but I could never develop a story for her. When I started to plan this trilogy, I saw a spot where Sam could have a major role and really become a star.
What's different about this book? Why should people buy it?
Zaftan Miscreants is different and offers a wealth of unusual characters. The four main characters are an android (Sam), a ship's computer (Slash 9), a beautiful alien who is a societal misfit (Klatze) and another alien who is a well-adjusted murderer (Gongeblazn). If that isn't enough, one minor character is an ancient robot (Dot 38) who is a religious fanatic paving the way for the coming of the Mechanical Messiah.I'd say that defines 'different'.
Why did you write a sex scene between two aliens?
Only another alien character would agree to do it with Klatze. I attended a convention in the spring and I was stunned by how many romance and erotica authors showed up. I think I was the only one who wrote fantasy and scifi. It became apparent to me that sex scenes sell, but perhaps using two hideous aliens is the wrong approach.
Does your book have a reading guide to help out book clubs?
Yes, it does. The guide is designed to help reading groups delve deeply into the philosophical issues addressed by my book and the characters. Here are two questions from the guide.
* Do you think Gongeblazn acts the way he does because he had a miserable squidling-hood? What should Zaftan society do to repay him for his misery.
* The author seems to have an unhealthy fixation on the repulsive aliens. Is this an indication of a mental disorder? Can it be caused by an incident in his childhood? How would Freud diagnose the problem? What would he recommend to alleviate the situation? How do you know that?
What's up next for you?
My next novel is Shakespeare's worst nightmare. I've taken two of his plays, Othello and Hamlet, and turned them from tragedies to comedies and that ain't easy to do. I think of it as updating the Bard's work for modern readers. You can look for Falstaff's Big Gamble in the spring of 2012
What do you do when you're not writing fiction?
When I'm not writing stories, I'm the CEO, Editor and reporter (under about 20 aliases) for Faux News Network. (Faux is the French word for phony or fake). I write satiric news reports about current events. You can only get the FNN reports on my blog: strangeworldsonline.blogspot.com