Why do I write? I write to clear my mind. It is my reality relief – my escape. I write to tell stories that I have not heard told before about things I have not yet seen. I write to create and then explore places which do not yet exist, technology still to be designed and people not yet born. When I write I investigate problems or trends or innovative technological processes which interest me with their potential, future consequences for me, you and humanity. I adhere to Peter Drucker’s declaration that the best way to predict the future is to create it.
My Endless Fire series of action adventures is my method for describing and conversing with you about possible near-future events and people. But, I do not write science fiction fantasy. I write science-based fiction, which enables me to provide actual information as an integral part of my stories. My desire to provide accurate data to you in my writing, requires that I do extensive research. I am a voracious consumer of scientific, technological and space research information, so I relish exploring the latest discoveries.
After choosing an intriguing group of concepts that I imagine may interest you, I begin constructing my story’s future environment. I project locations that I know through personal experience into the future to provide a ‘this could happen here’ touch of reality for readers. My readers visit Africa, Europe, Puerto Rico and, of course, North America. Because all of Earth and therefore all of my locations are directly impacted by climate change, I write all of my Endless Fire series stories with global warming as a major plot theme.
One of my reasons for writing this series of stories and entitling it Endless Fire is to create awareness and concern about the Earth’s and our future. As I craft my stories, I consider the warning of Stephen Hawking, “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.” So, a constant question I pose when writing is, ‘Will humans destroy humanity?’
After determining a location, I dig into my own memories and experiences. My characters, both the ones I like and the ones I dislike, I construct from bits and pieces of individuals I encounter during my life. I seek to write my stories so they are studies of how certain types of people will act and react in certain circumstances – farmers, soldiers, scientists, doctors and others. My goal is for the reader to feel my characters’ pain, experience their joy and enjoy their successes, so they comprehend what living in the future will require. Or as Arthur M. Schlesinger wrote, “Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.” I often wonder if a person living today could survive in the world of tomorrow.
If you are seeking super-human heroes, you will not find them in the Endless Fire series. My characters possess problems and weaknesses, especially the series protagonist, Robert Goodfellow. The trials and travails of reluctant cyberwarrior Robert Goodfellow connect the Endless Fire stories. Robert is not your suave, international, crime-fighter. No, he is rather clumsy, sometimes fainthearted and normally nervous. “Why are so many people trying to kill me? Don’t they understand that I’m here to save them?” are questions constantly plaguing Robert Goodfellow. He battles bad guys with his brains not his brawn.
“The future ain’t what it used to be” – Yogi Berra
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ― Yogi Berra
Now, I realize that most people consider these two, old, Yogi Berra quotes about the future to be ridiculous or perhaps just nonsensical. Actually, most people probably have no idea who Yogi Berra was (Hall of Fame New York Yankee catcher and manager), so they are even more confused by his Yogi-isms. However, I have adopted his weird wisdom as directional guides for my writing efforts.
I consider Yogi’s sayings to be inspirational truths. For, in reality, is our future really ‘what it used to be’ or at least what it was expected or predicted to be? So, when I write, I begin with a Yogi Berra philosophical approach. In other words, I endeavor to approach my stories a little off kilter or from a different perspective. It feels natural.
“You can observe a lot by watching” Yogi Berra