Today I am welcoming an author who has written a very thought provoking, futuristic novel.
G. S. Wright’s debut, BROKEN THINGS, came out in 2013. A little bit thriller, and a LOT sci-fi, the book paints a picture of a world where people have learned how to cheat death, and children are looked at as luxury items to be replaced as needed, as simply as upgrading cell phones today.
S. M. Nystoriak: Welcome, Mr. Wright, and thanks for taking part in my Writer’s Block! Let’s start by getting a little bit of background information about you. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Does your background have anything to do with the subject matter of your novel BROKEN THINGS?
G. S. Wright: Despite BROKEN THINGS being a science fiction novel, it takes place in a world very real to me. I grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the novel starts out. The story winds through the mountains where I’ve camped throughout the years, and continues to Boise. I kept the setting true to what I know (with a touch of creative license).
One nice thing about taking my writing to the next level through publishing is that I no longer say that writing is a hobby. And when you’re doing what you love, it’s not work either, making it the best of both worlds. I guess that leaves music as my core hobby. I enjoy attempting to play guitar and piano, despite being an amateur at both.
Where my background had the most influence on BROKEN THINGS comes down to remembering what it was like to be a kid, and my own children helped me keep that in perspective.
S. M. Nystoriak: Many writers have a writing routine each day. Do you have a daily writing regimen? Or, do you tend to write with a more free-spirited style?
G. S. Wright: I would love to say that I have a solid writing regimen, and I try for 2000 words every day. A good writing day will net about 6000 words. In truth though, I always make time to write and if I hit 2000, I’m happy. If I don’t, life goes on.
Most people that know me will say that I’m free-spirited, but don’t believe them
S. M. Nystoriak: Have you always aspired to be an author?
G. S. Wright: Always. I started submitting short stories to magazines right out of college (and we’re talking early ‘90’s here), but the world was a different place then, and I didn’t have the time to pursue it to ever making a living, or even earn much hobby money. As I entered a time in my life where I needed to be able to support my family, I didn’t pursue it as I wanted to. The ability to self-publish is a dream come true. While I’m sure many would argue for the benefits that come with being published by someone else, I absolutely love the creative control I have.
S. M. Nystoriak: Okay. Let’s switch gears to your novel, BROKEN THINGS. In your book, the world is made up of humans who will “live forever” and “Android Children”. What year does this book take place?
G. S. Wright: I wanted to be ambiguous about the year so as not to put a date on the story, but I pictured it taking place around 2070. It can’t take place too far in the future, because I wanted it to feel familiar to the reader. So much can change in that amount of time, and yet in many ways it stays the same.
S. M. Nystoriak: As I was reading, I found it almost uncanny how the “Android” world you created has correlations to our present day world. Do you believe your story mirrors our own society? If so, how?
G. S. Wright: I cautiously say yes. Society in BROKEN THINGS has what might be considered a great gift of immortality. But what does it get them? More of the same thing, day after day. The exploitation of children in my book is extreme. Though the same abuse exists in our world, BROKEN THINGS presents it with few repercussions. No one is going to tell you how you’re supposed to play with your “toys”.
S. M. Nystoriak: Abel, Cain, Adam, and Angel are all characters in BROKEN THINGS. Talk a little bit about that Biblical connection to the story.
G. S. Wright: Religion is such a huge part of the human experience. This could spark some arguments, but I approached it from an Existentialist point of view. If we no longer fear death, how important is an afterlife?
The reference to Adam, Caine and Abel show hubris that the humans have over their own creations. For the androids, nothing is certain. They are alive enough to question their own existence. They suffer from fear and uncertainty. Though not the central theme of the story, the androids all have a quest for spirituality, to some degree. They are faced with similar decisions as humans are, and they have to decide on their code of ethics, and accept the repercussions. Out of all of the characters in BROKEN THINGS, it is the androids that have a need for God. The humans have forgotten.
S. M. Nystoriak: A comment: I liked how you show a humanizing of the android existence.
G. S. Wright: Thank you. Making them as “human” as the humans almost makes their existence a tragedy.
S. M. Nystoriak: One of my favorite lines in the whole book: “Science can’t give us a soul.” It really spoke to me. Do you have a favorite part of this book?
G. S. Wright: I do! I love the climax of the book. I’m not giving any spoilers here, but I feel that the last 20% of the book is very emotionally charged.
S. M. Nystoriak: I would definitely agree with that. I actually teared up during the ending. It was so beautifully written. Another aspect of your plot which was intriguing was when you describe how the use of food additives, which a lot of us try to keep to a minimum, actually turned out to help humans in their quest to live forever. What an interesting idea!
G. S. Wright: Yes, but what a two-edged sword! With all of the benefits that this future society brings, they also must live with the side-affects.
S. M. Nystoriak: A question I always like to ask my interviewees has to do with music. Does music have a place in your creative process? If so, what is on your iPod? Do you have any music that was meaningful to you as you wrote BROKEN THINGS?
G. S. Wright: I kept it light while writing BROKEN THINGS. I listened to a lot of Folk and eighties Pop. I keep it turned down so that I don’t sing along. Looking back, my most-played artists were Ray LaMontagne, Greg
Laswell, and The Cure. As far as meaningful, not really. The value of music for me when writing is not to distract, but to aid in maintaining focus.
S. M. Nystoriak: That is very interesting! I have interviewed several different authors at this point, and have asked variations on that same question. Music plays such a different role for the different authors! Finally, what can we expect to read from you in the future?
G. S. Wright: You might see something from me again as early as the end of April. I’m currently wrapping up a Dark Fantasy sprinkled liberally with a zombie apocalypse. I have a few other projects that I’m in the middle of, including two modern day thrillers, and a high fantasy, that I hope to finish sometime this year.
S. M. Nystoriak: Well, I loved BROKEN THINGS, and I would encourage any fans of sci-fi or speculative fiction to check it out. You will most certainly be surprised! I wrote up an Amazon review of it here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3LJXOROZLBZZN/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
I look forward to your next work. Thank you so much for spending time answering these questions, Mr. Wright, and best of luck to you!
More information about BROKEN THINGS and author G. S. Wright can be found here:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/G-S-Wright/e/B00BACWEQA/