Skip to main content

Interview with author David Sakmyster

Today, I'd like to welcome David Sakmyster, author of the Morpheus Initiative trilogy. So far, I've read and reviewed two of the books in the series ~ The Pharos Objective and The Mongol Objective. I'll be reviewing the last book in the series, The Cydonia Objective, soon.

Q. Can you tell my readers a little about your Morpheus Initiative trilogy and what gave you the idea for it?

A. This trilogy came out of an idea I had while researching ideas for a short story set in the times of Caesar and Cleopatra.  I came across the story of a battle in harbor at Alexandria and just knew I had to use the great Pharos Lighthouse (one of the 7 Wonders of the World) as a setting. So in further research, I came up with a lot of intriguing bits about it, including the theory that Alexander the Great may have intended it to house the treasures of his empire – treasures which were never found. So there I was writing about one thing, and what I really wanted to do was to go another direction and investigate whether that treasure might still be there. But the lighthouse had toppled into the sea, and no one was sure where even the foundation was anymore – and that’s when I came upon the idea that perhaps, like in cases where police are baffled at a crime scene, we might benefit by using psychics to probe the past and find out the truth. So I did some further research and actually found out that there was such a team out there. A professor and a team of gifted volunteers used a psychic process called ‘remote-viewing’ to see if they could locate shipwrecks, lost artifacts, tombs and the like, with some success. They had even zeroed in on Cleopatra’s tomb in the late ‘70s. The fascinating story can be read in Stephan A. Schwartz’s The Alexandria Project. So that really inspired me to develop as my main characters, a team of psychics who try to solve some of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries.

Q. What sorts of relationships and experiences do you most like to explore in your writing?

A. I’m especially drawn to relationships that we can all relate to – parents and their children especially. In the Morpheus Initiative books, there are strong family dynamics going on, with the main character holding onto tremendous guilt over not being able to help his missing (presumed dead) father, and resenting his mother and sister for their lack of perceived remorse. And that then gives an opportunity to develop those relationships, for the character to learn, and then, in the sequels when he has a son of his own, everything changes and he’s on the other side of things.

Q. What are your strategies for making characters seem real so the reader connects with them?

A. Because my stories tend to veer towards more fantastic subject matter, the key to making all of that real for the reader is to make sure they can connect deeply with the characters. That their language is realistic, that they struggle in their relationships and wrestle with everyday emotions and responsibilities, that they have deep flaws to complement (and often counter) their otherwise extraordinary abilities.

Q. What genres and authors do you most enjoy reading?

A. I love reading thrillers and horror novels especially, along with the occasional quirky novel. Some of the best things I’ve read recently were The Thieves of Manhattan (Adam Langer) and The City of Dreaming Books (Walter Moers). But I read everything by Robert McCammon, James Rollins and Peter Straub.

Q. I'll have to check some of those out! What are you working on now?

A. This year I published the final novel in the Morpheus Trilogy (The Cydonia Objective), and a standalone supernatural thriller, one of my favorites, called Blindspots. Now I’m finishing up a novel collaboration with international best-selling author Steve Savile. It’s called N.D.E., about a team of people who have had Near Death Experiences joining forces to try to understand the phenomenon. I’m finding it’s turning out to be like a cross between American Gods and The Matrix.

Thanks for the opportunity to stop by and chat here! You can follow me at Facebook, Twitter on my website


Thank you for stopping by My Book Retreat!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…