Hope everyone had a safe and happy July 4th and didn’t get any fingers blown off playing with firecrackers. Today I have an interview with author Andrew Saxsma about his book Lonely Moon.
About the Book:
Earth lies in ruins, destroyed by an unknown enemy. Humanity flees their burning homeworld, seeking a safe place to hide before they can be hunted down and eradicated.
Alliance Captain Michael Hane watches helplessly while his wife and unborn child fall victim to the random slaughter of Earth. With time running out, he is burdened by the last bits of humanity to find a way to stop this menace before it wipes the galaxy clean of every last human being.
A Sithy Interview
The Sith Witch: How would you describe your book? What kind of story are you trying to convey?
AS: Well, when he talk about a book, we’re really describing, in essence, two things, right? We have the story, the characters and events, and then we have something else, something deeper. A theme, a motif perhaps, but a sort of “understory”.
In its gut, Lonely Moon is very much about Alliance Captain Hane’s struggle to save what’s left of humanity when Earth is attacked and absolutely leveled. Having lost his wife and unborn child in the fray, Captain Hane must not only stave off grief, but he also begins to question what sacrifices are necessary in order to save his crew and Earth’s survivors from this relentless alien force, this enemy older than our very galaxy.
But, at its heart, in its soul, Lonely Moon is an introspective look at ourselves, what it means to be human. Are our emotions, our animal instincts dangerous, or are they what make us unique in an infinite universe? Can we truly escape what we really are? If we can’t, where does that leave us? I really wanted the reader to ask him/herself those questions, because when you do that, at least objectively, it helps us take a step back and really examine our actions and the way we treat each other. You never know who could be watching…
The Sith Witch: Where did the idea for the book come from? What was it’s inspiration?
AS: The idea was born of a conversation I was having with a friend of mine. We were sort of talking “what-if’s” and I had this crazy question that I really wanted his opinion on. I asked him, “What if Aliens have been watching us since the beginning? You know, since we stepped out of the cave, so to speak?” And he looked at me for a second, blinking and confused. So, I finished, “What do you think they would think about us? Like, a general opinion?”
He laughed for a good four-five minutes, and he said, “Whatever it is, it probably wouldn’t be good.” And, after he reinforced his point, I was quite inclined to agree. I mean, and he more or less vented most of this to me, look at our history and how far we’ve come. We live in an extraordinary age where you can face chat with people across the world, and everyone’s voice can be heard, no matter how little. But, there are certain things we HAVE NOT been able to outgrow, namely, greed and war, and these are things that have been around since the start. You only have to look at the state of the world today to see that we can’t get along, no matter how intelligent we get. So, when you look at those things, it’s not a stretch to say that if Aliens have been obectively observing us, they probably would not have the highest opinion of us, and that’s really what the idea behind Lonely Moon is, behind the mask of the characters and the story. Fiction inspired by truth, I’d dare say.
The Sith Witch: How would you describe the main characters in your book? What is the nature of their relationship?
AS: Captain Hane, oh boy, he’s a totem, grounded and tall. But he’s broken, vulnerable. He watched his pregnant wife die amidst Earth’s invasion. If you can imagine the conflict of a man, sworn to do his duty as an Alliance Captain, torn between grief and loyalty, he’s it. But, like any good soldier, duty ultimately prevails, but that ride can only last so long before the wall you build begins to crack, and that’s what happens, and he does his absolutely best to hide it, to secretly hurt and grieve.
Sam is Hane’s first officer, but she’s also his best friend. They’ve been stationed together for a long time, and work as a fluid team. She’s caring, but she’s also hurting for Hane, and does her best to ease the pain she knows he’s hiding. She’s an excellent pilot, skilled in ways most Alliance pilots are not, and gets them out of some pretty sticky situations.
Walsh is a marine, born and bred jarhead. He’s ruthless, precise, and without mercy. Hane, recognizing Walsh’s necessity, despite his loose cannon ego, recruits him to join his crew. Walsh has an absolute disrespect for Hane’s authority as a ‘flyboy’, and has no problem telling him. He prays on the weak and he’s always ready for a fight.
Leiman was originally assigned as Hane’s officer escort during the Captain’s shore leave on Earth. When Earth was invaded, Leiman was recruited by Hane to serve as an analyst, due to his exceptional ability to research and process vast amounts data, as well as calculate complicated trajectories. He’s educated, clumsy, and a source of relief for the crew. He’s light-hearted, the sort of guy you could just sit and talk to for hours, the kind of guy you just want to protect.
Nilus is an Auran, a tall gangly grey being with bulbous black eyes, from the planet Aurora. The Auran are known for vastly superior technilogical advances, and are revered as being morally neutral in almost all situations. They are ruled by logic and reason vs emotions. Nilus is a member of their ruling council and is assigned to Hane’s crew as a liason between the races, as well as aiding in the Human’s struggle. He’s cold but means well.
And Leo, last but certainly NOT least. Leo is a turg, a lion-humanoid that walks upright on hind legs. Turgs are a beastly-sized race of warriors who value Honor above all. If a fight is not honorable, they have no interest. Leo, an exile, is on that search for his Honorable Battle so he may return home, and finds that in Hane’s struggle, and asks to join his crew. He takes Leiman under his wing, promising him his protection. In a fight, you want him on your side.
The Sith Witch: When a reader finishes the book, what is it you hope they will walk away with?
AS: First, and foremost, I want them to walk away with a feeling of satisfaction that only comes from finishing a good book, with having completed a wonderful story. If I can bring the reader that joy, then I will be perfectly content. But, even deeper than that, and I know this may be strange, I want the reader to walk away with questions. Now, these questions won’t pertain to the story, but they will be focused on us. These questions should explore humanity and what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve the goals we have set, not only on an individual level, but as a society, as a planet that belongs to us. These are the important questions, I think, we need to answer.
The Sith Witch: Do you have any current projects that you are working on? What can you share aobut any upcoming works?
AS: Actually, I have a couple projects that I’m working on. Old McDonald, a short novella, was released on June 25th. It’s a mashup between Animal Farm meets Night of the living Dead, so it’s a far base from Science Fiction, and is definitely Horror. I’m also working on my next full-length novel. The outline is complete, but I don’t want to reveal the title just yet. It’s a bit of a surprise, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever written before, so it’s quite exciting.
The Sith Witch: Who are some of your inspirations as a writer? Which other authors do you look to for inspiration and motivation?
AS: I gotta’ say, I’m really inspired by music, and I’ve talked to a lot of other writers who feel this way too. Everything from emotional chords to heart-wrenching lyrics, it all gets my creative blender ‘a slicin’, so to speak. Music, to me, is a lifeblood and without it, there’s a dullness. When I need to write a sad scene, I listen to deep, instrumental, romantic music. When I need to write an action scene, I listen to heart-pumping, drum-heavy, deep bass anthems. So, it doubles as a tool and inspiration I guess you could say.
There are two particular authors that come to mind. Namely, Stephen King and Brian Keene. Stephen King’s characters are so real they could be your nextdoor neighbors, and his stories, no matter how fantastical, can seem as plausible and real as a story on the nine o’clock news. Brian Keene’s descriptions are sharp, no BS, and at times, brutal. Most of his characters are everyday ‘joes’, thrown into world-bending circumstances, not always coming out on top, but sometimes out of the bottom. Both are amazing authors whom I admire.
The Sith Witch: If they made a movie of your book, who would you cast in the lead roles?
AS: Haha, what a fun idea. I definitely see Hane as a Colin Farrel type, or perhaps a younger Brad Pitt. Sam I see her as Scarlett Johansson, but with Red hair, like in Iron Man.
The Sith Witch: When not writing, what other hobbies and interests do you have?
AS: I’m big into fitness and eating healthy and natural. I love reading, and any good author will tell you it’s almost as important as breathing to a writer. And I’m always up for a scary movie or two.
This interview is part of Andrew’s virtual book tour through Positively Published!