Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Conversation with Sci-Fi Author Peter Darrach

Peter Darrach has lived in New York, London, Prague, Munich and Vienna. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature, both from Pennsylvania State University. Darrach pursued a career in sales and marketing in fields as diverse as amusement parks and retail before moving to Europe in 1991. Since then he has worked in Eastern and Western Europe, holding a series of executive positions with blue chip FMCG companies.  Most recently he has returned to the U.S. to pursue his career as a business coach and fiction author and currently lives in Florida.

His latest book is the sci-fi, Tavern on the Edge of Time.
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About the Book:

During the year 2125, former asteroid miners Max Cody and Elaine Zhou never get a moment’s rest. No sooner have they doused the flames of war between Earth and Mars or returned from their first trip to the Tavern on the Edge of Time when they are called upon to help fit out the fledging Martian colony orbiting Jupiter’s moon Callisto. In parallel, Earth extradites the war’s fomenter, ex-billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex, hoping to gain from his insights into Martian teleportation technology, but he manages to turn Earth’s resources toward private revenge against Max, Mars, and the Callisto Colony. In the meantime aliens are leaking into the Earth-Mars continuum from the Tavern, whose proprietor repaired and upgraded Max after accidentally injuring him during an asteroid mining expedition. Max’s enhancements help, of course, but when strange beings with the power to animate matter—the Assemblers—find their way to Earth, Max, Mars, and humanity are sorely beset. Worse yet, the Tavern itself is becoming unstable, its acquisitive host having overstretched his considerable powers. His prospecting for collapsed neutron matter has also opened portals between continua, inadvertently adding still more aliens to the mix. That’s when the Assemblers’ overlord arrives and Max finally meets his match. Oh, and Elaine is expecting their hybrid baby. Yes, you might say these are difficult times at the Tavern on the Edge of Time.

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Can you tell us more about your book? 

The action begins in the year 2125. The first book in the series (SECOND SKIN) follows the asteroid miner Max Cody who is wounded and repaired with some unexpected enhancements by aliens while prospecting.  He and his navigator / girlfriend Elaine Zhou face vicious ice pirates in the asteroid belt and on the enormous MARS ORBITAL SMELTER ARRAY (a.k.a MOSA) who plan to attack Mars and Earth.

In the second book (SECOND SKIN TOO) the duo is called upon to join a diplomatic effort to try and avoid war with Earth over Mars’ mining prowess, a conflict driven by billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex.

The latest book  (book three, THE TAVERN ON THE EDGE OF TIME) brings us directly in contact with the alien who repaired Max, not to mention numerous other aliens, who frequent a peaceful place call the Tavern on the Edge of Time.  Unfortunately, Earth, Mars, the Tavern, and even Mars’ poor fledgling colony on Callisto come under attack both from human and far stranger adversaries—especially the Assemblers.  It looks like Max has met his match this time.

See more details at www.peterdarrach.com.

Why did you write your book?

Actually, the book wrote itself (just like the first two) and all I had to do was type, well, and organize a little.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

There are numerous characters in the book, but in order of importance, Max Cody and Elaine Zhou are a pair of young asteroid miners thrust into the thick of cross-continuum challenges who bear their lot with humor and an unrelenting amorous attraction.  Daniel Sinclair is a grizzled fifty year old who runs the MOSA smelting arrays which continually sling ingots of nickel, iron, etc. off rail launchers toward Earth.  He has fallen for Marion Greenland, the passionate, red haired governor of Mars who bears the brunt of the on-going conflict with Earth.  While she may be a charmer, Xanthus Rex is not a nice man.  Wealth and absolute power have allowed him too much leeway and he spares no effort in reeking vengeance on the Martians after what happens in book two. Xu Ngyu was one of his earlier projects—bought from her family in Saigon and gene modified to allow her to bulk up on special enzymes and thus withstand crushing G-forces.  Oh, and there are a cast of aliens, but they require more space to explain.  Let’s choose only the Assemblers, animate fields which selectively animate esthetically chosen bits of matter and become increasingly inimical to humanity’s and the Tavern’s interests under Xanthus’ tutelage.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

The characters are generally quite developed.  Yes, some of them have traits from people I have known, but most are a melange and evolve over time in any case—as real people do, of course.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I outline the books meticulously but at a relatively high level of abstraction.  Next I conduct significant research so as to have the science generally accurate, and then I synthesize detail as I write.
Your book is set in/near Mars, Jupiter, Callisto, Earth, alien planets, a Tavern in another continuum.  Can you tell us why you chose these locations in particular?

Each of the locations carries and allows the development of a strand of the plot.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Very definitely.  The action moves continuously with multiple plots unwinding simultaneously.

Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

The volunteers for the Callisto Colony (near Jupiter) are considering what they will give up 5 AU from Earth and wondering how to create a bond. The answer is a group baptism in the only micro-G swimming pool known to man (on MOSA).


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