Quarantine (Author Interview)


Quarantine looks like an exciting start to a sci-fi trilogy.  Can you tell us a little about Christopher?

At this point in time, Christopher is a middle-aged man. However, due to a life-extending retrovirus, developed by his wife long before they were married, he appears to be in his late twenties or early thirties. In the early 1960s, Christopher discovered a counter-intuitive principle in the nature of gravity that allowed him to manipulate the force and direction of the weak force. Christopher, and his three closest friends from high school, parlay this discovery into a space drive that uses no rocket-based propulsion and a ship capable of leaving Earth and traveling out into space. This ability allows Christopher, his closest friends Horace (Peanut), Riley, and Chuck, to live out one of their dreams from high school. That is the ability to live lives without the influence, prejudice, racism, and ongoing potential for violence their terrestrial Black cousins face from whites in the United States every moment of every day.

Personally, he's exceptionally bright, somewhat reticent, but utterly devoted to his friends who are as close to him as life-long family.

Can you tell us a little about the world and setting in Quarantine?

The world isn't much different than the one we live in now. Nonwhites still face the challenges that have existed on the North American continent for over 400 years. The political situation in the U.S. is in turmoil because everyone on Earth knows about Christopher's community of space-faring African Americans and the fact that the technologies, medical advances, and their ability to travel the solar system will never be shared with anyone on Earth. This sets up a dynamic tension that amounts to a de facto state of war between the all-black colony and the United States military.

What inspired you when writing Quarantine?   

After finishing The Darkside Trilogy, I didn't feel that the saga was complete. And though in life, life goes on whether we are observing some specific group or are monitoring a particular circumstance, in storytelling, it's customary to find an endpoint that satisfies the reader. And, I thought up and ending to the tale that made sense to me. Additionally, the conditions blacks live under in the U.S. haven't changed much in my lifetime.

How did you come up with the story in Quarantine?

For the most part, I extended out the story in Darkside for about ten years and imagined the kinds of issues Christopher and his community would be facing. With their abilities, technology, and longer lifespans than terrestrial man, I believed that their attention would turn outward after mastering living in space.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Quarantine?

The most challenging part of Quarantine was how to keep the story fresh and exciting. I enjoy creating interesting characters. But what makes any of the characters interesting to me is how they meet the challenges of the day. It grounds them in a reality matrix that does not force the reader to suspend disbelief because I've gone too far or had them act in a way that readers simply wouldn't find realistic.

What do you like to do when not writing?

The top of my list is reading, then comes networking with other writers in a discussion about the craft.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

I think the best accumulation of the work I've published would be my Author's Page on Amazon's web site.