Thursday, May 23, 2013
Rebecca Harlow’s Interview in Sandpoint, Idaho with Paul S. Ross, author
1) What inspired you to write the Migration Trilogy?
I have always been fascinated by the interplay between good and evil. At the core of our existence, our lives are surrounded by the dynamics of this interplay on a daily basis. The dilemma we often face is how to balance, merge and harmonize diametrically opposed forces with clarity and purpose until we realize that one cannot exist without the other. My inspiration for writing the Migration Trilogy is based on a love of the art of story-telling. I love creating short chapters that are fast-paced and loaded with powerful imagery.
2) Why would I want to read Solaris?
Solaris is a thrilling exploration into a world populated by two different species of human beings. As the second book of the Migration Trilogy, it challenges the reader with the taut underlying conflicts of two very different societies occupying the world at the same time. It also depicts the internal struggle of two people willing to risk everything to challenge their obsolescence and change the course of humanity. On quite another level, Solaris is the story of love and infection, of desire and lust, of the conflicts that push us into unfamiliar realms.
3) What will I gain by reading Solaris?
On a subliminal level, Solaris fills the reader with powerful images of the shadow world, vision quests and Jungian archetypes. It is seasoned with an undercurrent of terror, suspense, and drama. Overlaying the entire novel is a blend of science, genetics, history, culture, and anthropology. Solaris digs into the worlds of dream and myth. It often forces the reader to question the illusions of their own reality.
4) How is Solaris different from the Ninth Clan?
Fundamentally the two stories are both thrillers, but The Ninth Clan is permeated with a suspense that is more raw and explicit. Solaris, on the other hand, delves into deeper levels of psychological turmoil. Both stories are a wild ride into the realm of the “what-if”, but Solaris brings into play the sheer power of the feminine mystique and the divine masculine.
5) What is the central message of the Ninth Clan?
The Ninth Clan revolves around the effects of a viral plague that altered humanity 75,000 years ago. Most of the action occurs in modern times but the central theme focuses on the courage of ordinary people confronting the extraordinary. Essentially, it depicts the will to follow to follow your heart regardless of the risk—it’s the story of survival in the face of evil.
6) What is the central message of Solaris?
Solaris derives its message from the ongoing war we all fight with our ancient archetypes—its message drives home the importance of confronting the shadow self, the warrior, and the goddess in our psyche. Its focus is on the significance of reconciliation and growth through awareness. It’s also a story of the power of love, and change.
7) What is the time period of the Migration Trilogy?
The Ninth Clan basically occurs in modern times but it traces the history of the viral plague from its inception 75,000 years ago. Solaris occurs just over the horizon of the not too distant future. Migration, the final book, will occur in the far distant future.
8) What elements are in the Migration Trilogy?
The human migration is not just about the physical—the human migration is spiritual, mental and psychological—it’s about the human journey across time, space and dimension.
9) What experience in your life sparked the embers of the interplay of good/evil?
When I was a young man, one of my first real jobs was working as an Emergency Room Tech. The Emergency Room that I worked in was known as a Knife and Gun Club—lots of shootings, stabbings, and trauma. I wasn’t even 20 years old and yet I often stood in the middle of blood-soaked rooms acting brave while trying to save someone’s life. There were many nights when I would leave the ER thinking that there must be a war going on outside—but there wasn’t. One evening, a man put a gun in my face and asked if I was doctor because he wanted to kill a doctor. From those experiences, I learned first-hand, and up close that good and evil constantly come into very close contact with one another.
10) How did it affect you?
In short, deeply. I was brought up in a relatively protected environment. I was a boy scout. I played the trumpet in my school band. I was a chess champion. And yet a few short years later, I was treating the victims of the most horrific acts of violence you can imagine. I saw people trying to blow their heads off with shotguns, people having battery acid thrown in their faces, dying of car accidents, assaults, and stupidity. When I finally went back to college and tried to do research biology, however, I couldn’t handle the boredom.
11) Did you build your characters around real experiences, real human interactions?
Yes, I think every writer writes what he or she knows. All of my characters are a blend of my past experiences with people. All of my writing has a basis in the realities of my life. I character study people all day long looking for uniqueness.
12) What do you wish I had asked you?
I want people to know that I write in many different genres—poetry, autobiographical, short story, fiction, non-fiction. I want aspiring writers to know that is very important to learn the classics of writing before attempting to create your own style. Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. If you to write, first learn the art of the short story. I spent years writing short stories, 8-10 pages long. Learn how to create something powerful, full of imagery, full of passion. Writing is a lonely craft. You spend hours in front of a computer. Learn how to tell a story…it’s all about the story!
13) What do you not want me to know about you or the culmination/creation of the book?
I don’t want you to know that I know nothing and yet I act as if I know everything. I don’t want you to know how I research things—that it is all just superficial play-acting. I think everyone fears their lack of knowledge being discovered and openly revealed. I think we all fear the discovery that we actually don’t know what we’re talking about, that it’s all a façade. I am no different.
14) In reading your answers to the above questions I feel a kindred connection and a deep desire to know more about your experiences. I want to know the story of how you became exactly who you are in this exact moment?
Oh my, that would take a long time to answer—possibly the length of a novel—hmmm, suddenly you have given me an idea—the story of how I became a story-teller—of course, in the end, the history of humans is the history of story-telling.
15) How are you historically relevant?
Laughing here! I am relevant because I explain everything to everyone! I have the answers to all of the world’s problems. I know the outcome of our existence. I am the ultimate party-pooper. How am I historically relevant? I think, therefore, I am…relevant.