Awakening – The Eye Of The Scalian by Douglas W. Green
What led you into writing?
I have been writing since I was a young child, winning an award in 7th grade for a short story about humans of the far future traveling back in time to witness the Apollo 11 moon landing, and man’s first steps on the moon.
I have also written for several science fiction periodicals reviewing virtual world environments from the 1st person position as an embedded reporter. This allows me to write about what I actually experience myself, and helps engage the reader rather than just have them read about the story.
How does a typical day look?
As I have not yet become able to have writing as my first career, I must still pay the bills. I am a career automotive service director, managing service repair operations both large and small in car dealerships.
My avocation of writing is done in my off moments when I can steal time away from life and enter my worlds of imagination. ‘Awakening’ is the first in a trilogy of novels I am writing dealing with the good and bad characteristics of humans and how the decisions they make shape their future, good or bad.
‘Awakening’ was written over the course of a 6 month recuperation period after major spinal surgery. The story had been bouncing around in my head for years, but I never had the time to frame it and develop it.
I am also an independent actor in a local Harrisburg PA group, Rising Phoenix Productions, which has just wrapped principal filming for a 3 part mini-series (science fiction of course) and is now in post production, with the first episode due out in the fall of 2019. I play a futuristic Admiral in a Space Fleet leading the rebellion against an Earth Government selling out humans to invading aliens.
Many authors speak of outlining a story with all the basic ideas and story lines. I just sat down and started writing. The characters and stories flowed like a faucet almost faster than I could put them on the screen. Being an actor, I originally wrote ‘Awakening’ as a screenplay, hoping to option it to media sources in this new age of straight to user content that is starving for new ideas. After showing it to the person who would eventually become my partner, we agreed that I should try to make the screenplay into a novel. So, in a manner of speaking, I DID sketch out the outline, then fill it in.
Writing a screenplay is much easier than a novel. In a screenplay, you deal with actions, not thoughts or ideas. ‘John move to stage left and picks up laser pistol, points at ambassador’ becomes ‘John quickly lunged at the table where the laser pistol was left unattended, diving for it as he falls to the ground, and turns to point it at the ambassador.’
What lasting effects have your favourite authors had on your writing and style?
I found I was very good at descriptive scenes, but lacking in dialogue experience, so I went back to my mentors, Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, and studied their dialogue with their characters. I was so inspired by the ‘Rama’ series of novels by ACC that I wrote him a personal letter thanking him for setting the fire in my heart to write my own stories. I was humbled and elated to receive a hand-written note from Sir Arthur, addressing me personally and with the instructions ‘Always look to the next horizon, for there your story waits to be told.’
In what ways do your characters test your abilities?
My 3 main characters in ‘Awakening’ were intertwined with each other, and marched invariably into friendship and conflict with each other as the story unfolded. I made each character flawed and perceptive at the same moment. This allowed them each to become aware of their own internal conflicts, and try to come to terms with the right decisions. The world around them influenced their actions, but their own moral sense fought with the ‘status quo’, not always what they felt should be the right way to deal with this world.
What’s your setup?
My writing Happy Place is my favorite reclining chair and a laptop. I quickly tune out the world, with apologies to my dear wife of 42 years, and immerse myself in the world I am building. True, I have used a few existing ideas to create my own world, but have made it my own rather than writing a wanna-be copycat novel from one of the TV series. My world is my own, original in content and story. It tells the tale of a world of the far future that has re-adopted slavery, this time of another race of beings who came to invade our world and conquer it, just when we were in the process of trying to exterminate ourselves in a world war of survival, following an apocalyptic collision of an asteroid with The Earth.
But that’s not the way it happened.
Mankind has been deceived by their leaders for tens of thousands of years, for reasons only they would understand. Enter one man, arriving on this futuristic Earth, with no knowledge of who is is or why he is here, but with a burning sense that he is here to right an enormous wrong. As he makes his way through this world of wonder and contradiction, those around him, both human and alien, begin to ‘awaken’ to the fact that everything they we have been taught about history, is a lie. This makes him an asset and a liability to those on both sides that each have their own reasons for changing the way things are, or keeping them as they are, at any cost.
What do you do for inspiration?
I write from the point of view of telling a morality tale as a fictional story, so the reader will not feel they are being lectured to. One good example is the ‘Star Trek(C)’ original series episode of a planet of people who are black on one side of their face and white on the other side. But some are black on the left, and others are black on the right. The members of the Enterprise see the same people. But to each other, they are mortal enemies and are deeply divided to the point of racial bias to each other, and eventually wipe each other out in a world war over the color of their skin.
Gene Roddenberry told this as a science fiction story, and very few people realized he was expressing his hatred of racial and gender bias. He knew if he did it conventionally, people would switch off. But his expertly crafted tale, told as an entertaining story, gave the viewer a lesson that they unconsciously absorbed.
What repeating themes do you find yourself pulling into your stories?
My main theme to ‘Awakening’ is the struggle that man faces every day, with every single decision he makes, and how it will affect his future. ‘Awakening’ is the best, and the worst, than Man can become, if left to his own devices. And when he strays too far off the path, he is quietly guided back by those around him who have had a vested interest in his evolution, since the days we first climbed out of the trees and picked up a stick.
How do you wind down?
Quite often after I finish a writing session I need to distract myself from the story, as I find it hard to remove myself from the world I am building, spending many a sleepless night jotting down ideas for story inclusions or side-story arcs that add to the full telling of the tale. ‘Awakening’ has had many many re-writes, with me actually having to go back and re-invent new future tech, as in the time I wrote it, my ideas of future interaction with technology caught up with us and became everyday use. Such is the imagination of man.
What sort of challenges do you regularly overcome while world-building?
‘Awakening’ Book 1 was easy to write, as it was all fresh and new. I could go anywhere I wanted to, with no roadblocks and no speed limits. But as I now begin to write Books 2 and 3, I find I must refer constantly to the story I have created, to keep it canon to the original story.
Book 2 will be a prequel, set in the far distant past, telling the story of the aliens that our hero in Book 1 finds enslaved on Earth, and how and WHY they came to be in that situation. Book 3 picks up immediately after the events of Book 1.
What’s the most useful advice you could give to an aspiring author?
The best advice I can give to any aspiring writer is simple: Do It Now. Don’t wait for ‘the right time’, MAKE the time. I started writing ‘Awakening’ at age 50, and 12 years later it is now ready for the world to enjoy. Whatever your story, put it down in print and read it, if only for yourself. But DO IT NOW.
I hope that I am graced with many more productive years of turning my imagination into worlds of wonder and enjoyment for readers.
Tell us about the book you’re promoting.
Our website is www.awakeningtheseries.com. There you will find teasers and videos detailing the different of our project, including animated and lives action versions of the series, as well as a game ap, and interactive AR/VR reality worlds where the player can literally become one of the characters in the world of ‘Awakening.’
Additionally, ‘Awakening’ Chapter 1 is available at www.madefire.com as an animated comic book.
An Audiobook is also completed, with plans to release soon, as well as a series of upcoming podcasts for each chapter, complete with a live reading of the chapter, and discussion to follow.
Awakening is 381 pages, complete with dictionary descriptions of all the characters and terms used or created for this story.
The genre is Science Fiction, written in English, with plans to translate into Italian, Romanian and Turkish, as well as Spanish and other languages.
The Publisher is ‘Awakening Publishing’, headed by my partner and co-producer, Lou CasaBianca.
We are currently shopping the screenplay to interested sources, and are actively seeking funding for the next phase of production, bring the story to video. Those interested in donating to our project can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @docgrun. On our website is listed the various levels of donations and what rewards you can receive for helping us bring the greatest story of Man to the light of day.