Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: Roman Godzich was born at a very early age. The shock of arriving on this planet was such that he didn’t speak for almost a year. Eventually, he got over it and now people say it’s challenging to get him to shut up.
Thanks so much, Roman, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
RG: Roman Godzich: I think I began writing in the second grade after reading Robert Heinlien’s “Podkayne of Mars”
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
RG: Anatole France. A fascinating figure in French literature.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
RG: Science fiction thriller.
JSC: Do you ever base your characters on real people? If so, what are the pitfalls you’ve run into doing so?
RG: To some extent. Mostly, I will use certain character traits from real people which I find endearing. Sometimes names are used as well, but generally, I will change them somewhat.
JSC: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
RG: I write SciFi thrillers because I like to read them. But I have also written some horror, and poetry and even have a romance novel and a children’s book in the works. Balance is hard, but having various genres is helpful if one feels blocked in a particular work, Moving to something completely different helps.
JSC: Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
RG: No Higher Ground because it built me a following
JSC: What book is currently on your bedside table?
RG: Neil Clarke’s New Voices in Chinese Science Fiction
JSC: How did you choose the topic for No Higher Ground?
RG: It had been rummaging around in my mind for a while. I am interested in AI and the idea of an alien AI, and how it would be different intrigues me.
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
RG: I have sold way more copies than I ever imagined would sell. I feel amazed and pleased by that.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
RG: Ruthless dictator of a small island nation.
JSC: What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing?
RG: Pottery, oil painting, pastels, gardening.
JSC: What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
JSC: If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?
RG: Reason day when we celebrate humanity outgrowing religious thinking.
And now for Roman’s book: No Higher Ground:
Sam Czerny’s career as a xenobiologist was relegated to studying strange life forms deep in the oceans. Then a Chinese mining facility discovers an unusual artifact on the far side of the moon. A device which could change the way humanity sees itself and its place in the galaxy. Sam finds himself on the project of his dreams only to get caught up in a sudden war between the US and China. A war that prevents the two governments from noticing an even more dangerous arrival.
A book that is part political thriller, part science fiction, part speculative fiction and part dark fiction, it will keep you turning pages until the stunning conclusion.
“Imaginative science fiction based in hard science and realistically envisioned future geopolitics, NO HIGHER GROUND is a thriller with a wildly inventive reality. Surprising alliances and betrayals are set against stakes which reveal the war games we humans play are a mere footnote in the battles fought across the universe. An exciting debut.” – Nina Sadowsky, author of JUST FALL and THE BURIAL SOCIETY
The display turned bright blue and a message indicating a secure encryption was in place. Sam found that surprising, as standard encryption made all calls secure many years earlier. He wondered if Starshield-Shakelton was doing more than space mining.
A few moments later the display resolved itself into a mustachioed face with black eyes squinting beneath a tussle
of black hair. Sam always thought Pierre Pacquelier looked like Salvador Dali with the ends of his mustache cut off.
“Sam? This is you?” A thick French accent came from Pierre’s image. He broke into a smile. “It is good to see you again, my friend.”
He liked Pacquelier, “Pierre! How are you? I heard you’ve been trying to reach me. When was the last time we saw each other, the Sci-fi convention about a year and a half ago?”
“Yes, my friend. We were on some panel together, but I don’t remember what it was. I do remember drinking and talking afterward. Anyway, I am calling to apologize and to receive your thanks.”
“Huh?” Sam grunted. Pierre’s habit of translating French word for word into English often confused him. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Of course, you do not because I have not told you. But when I tell you, you will have to forget, or at least pretend
it is a surprise when they contact you.”
“What’s a surprise?”
“Okay, I am sorry. I am putting the cart before the oxen,” He paused for effect. “Let me begin again.”
“Yes, go on . . . “
“An alien artifact. Something made by aliens. Do you see what this means?”
Sam sighed. “Pierre, I’ve heard this a dozen times before. People think they’ve found an object that didn’t come from the moon and it always turns out to be some natural or man-made thing.”
Pierre smiled and shook his head. “I do not think this is one of those cases. For one thing, the artifact is much too
big and regular to be a natural object. It is as large as a big building Sam, and it appears to be very, very old”
Sam frowned. “How old?’
Pierre took a breath. “First estimates date it to be about sixty-five to seventy million years old.”
“Pierre, what on earth are you saying? Where is this thing?”
“Not on Earth Sam, we found it in the Fermi Crater on the far side of the Moon.”
Pierre suddenly looked to his left and then back at the screen. “O la! I must go now. See you soon.”
The screen went blank as the call ended