Author: Kurt Springs
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Deirdre watched as Marisa turned and looked at her. She was shocked when she saw the child in her enemy's arms. The Gothowan woman turned away to shield the child. Deirdre saw the child's face. The child was looking right at her. Her expression was more curious than frightened. Deirdre knew she could take the fugitive without touching the child. She reoriented her aim, and her finger began to tighten.
It is twenty-five years after the events of Price of Vengeance. Deirdre and her sisters have returned to their home planet of Etrusci after completing their training with the Finnian Shock forces. Their homecoming plans are disrupted when their mother, High Priestess Celinia, and other leaders of the clergy are taken hostage, and their father, Colonel Liam O'Connor, disappears. In their desperate search for their father, they discover that the Rebellion is secretly building weapons that could end civilization as they know it.
Meanwhile, Liam has been befriended by a Rebel war criminal, a woman Deirdre has sworn to kill. Will deirdre cast herself into the role of judge, jury, and executioner, or will she discover the promise of mercy?
Interview with Kurt D. Springs
- When did you first discover that you liked to write?
I was in the fifth grade when I first discovered my love for story telling. I would write short stories about various topics the teacher would assign. I pulled things from favorite TV shows and tried to spin tales. The stories weren’t as polished as I try to make them now, but it was fun.
My teacher at the time, Miss Dougherty was very supportive of my writing. Sadly she got sick and died before the end of the fifth grade. However, she made such an impression on me that dedicated my Master of Literature Thesis from NUI Galway to her memory.
- But you continued your creative writing.
Off and on. I made my first serious attempt at writing a novel when I was in high school. If I recall correctly, it was about humanity’s first space flight to Alpha Centauri aboard the USS Langley. Many of my ideas for the story came from the Star Trek universe. It was very episodic, and I eventually put it aside. I had these multi-subject spiral notebooks that I used to print in long hand.
After college, I tried fantasy novels based on the Dungeons & Dragons universes. Again they were very episodic. Then I became acquainted with and took part in group sessions with a literary agent who immediately pointed that out to me. I tried to revamp the story several times, but eventually abandoned it and started a novel called The Queen of Thieves. This was my first serious attempt at publishing a novel. I tried all the major science fiction and fantasy publishers without much success.
I decided to try again in 2010, after I graduated with my Doctor of Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. The result was Price of Vengeance.
- What precisely do you mean by episodic?
Episodic stories are made up of shorter events, almost a series of short stories. Their major feature is they take place over an extended period of time, several months or even years. Examples of some very well written episodic novels are the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Her stories took place over an entire school year.
- You indicated that your writing an episodic novel was a problem.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of my favorite novels have been very episodic. The problem is that it is very difficult to do right. Many times you find that the story doesn’t hold together as well as it should. Publishers do publish them, but very often they can be a flash in the pan. Sometimes the author can’t repeat what he or she did to continue the series.>
I try to write plotted stories with strong characters. As I noted in one of my blogs, I like to write plot driven stories with character driven plots. Plotted stories are tighter, especially since they take place over a limited period of time, usually days. Sometime a clever author can expand that time while making it seem only days and keeping the plot tight. It’s a formula that is easier to keep consistent.
- You have a background in anthropology and archaeology. Does either play a role in your story telling?
While my focus was in archaeology, I actually found that my anthropology was more useful in world creation. There are many elements that go into creating a culture: politics, religion, art, kinship, etc. I used what I know to build the world of each group in the Dreamscape Warriors universe. I think in time I will start giving archaeology a greater role in the story telling. You are starting to see it in Promise of Mercy with the introduction of the Forerunners.
- Have other story telling universes played a role in the creation of the Dreamscape Warriors Novels?
As I mentioned in some of my other posts, I am a huge fan of the late Andre Norton. While I don’t have “retro” spaceships that are pencil shaped and land “fins down,” her use of ESP powers was my inspiration for the Dreamscape, though I do things very differently from her. I believe she was also the first to use the term Forerunner to describe ancient spacefaring cultures that rose and fell before the advent of humanity.
I am also a fan of the Halo universe put out by Bungee and 343 Industries. They also made use of Forerunners, though they consider them an actual race, where as Andre Norton used it as a blanket archaeological term for several different civilizations that rose and fell long before humanity came down from the trees.
- What else is in the works for the Dreamscape Warriors series?
I am currently editing the first draft of book three. The title is still a bit up in the air. I am also writing a book that comes between Price of Vengeance and Promise of Mercy called Legacy of Valor. It takes place 14 years after Price of Vengeance and involves Liam’s first encounter with Kergan. I have started working on the first of a trilogy of prequels dealing with the origins of the Finnian. I also have a few other ideas kicking around.
- Do you have any plans to expand beyond the Dreamscape Warriors universe, perhaps write in a different genre?
I have some ideas for some fantasy novels, maybe revamping The Queen of Thieves as well.
- If Price of Vengeance were ever made into a movie, have you considered who you’d want cast as the various characters?
A little bit. I would likely leave casting to the producers, since they understand the ins and outs about it. That being said, I see Ian McKellan as a perfect Jarek. He seems to have experience playing a wise mentor. I’ve also thought about Azurius. There are two actors I think would be ideal for the role: Ian McDiarmid or Patrick Stewart. Any combination of the two or three would provide a wealth of acting experience, especially mentoring the younger actors like those who would be playing Liam, Randolf, and the others.
Kurt D. Springs is presently an adjunct professor of anthropology and archaeology in New Hampshire. He holds a PhD. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a Master of Literature in archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master of Liberal Arts in anthropology and archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School. His main area of interest is megalithic landscapes in prehistoric Ireland. He also reviews science fiction and fantasy on his blog, Kurt's Frontier.