Welcome to my tour stop for Prisoner by Dennis W. Green! Prisoner is an adult science fiction and the tour runs with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts.
About Prisoner (Book Two):
Trav Becker is a police detective with multiple lives. Or to be more accurate, he’s a police detective who knows that multiple versions of himself live in countless different streams of existence.
When another Trav Becker appears bleeding and dying at his front door, Trav quickly realizes that something is dreadfully wrong in the multiverse.
Pursued by an FBI profiler who believes (with some justification) that Trav is hiding something, the detective races to save two kidnapped girls while also trying to sort out why he keeps turning up dead.
Desperate to preserve his home timeline, Trav is thrust into a hidden war that threatens to destroy the very fabric of reality itself.
Dennis Green returns to the universe he created in “Traveler” for another mindbending thriller.
Interview with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m a lifelong sci-fi and fantasy fan. Started off with the Grand Masters, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Tolkien. Later, Roger Zelazny and James P. Hogan were big influences. Today, I’m a fan of Jim Butcher, John Scalzi, and Ernest Cline.
Professionally, I’ve worked in the media, mainly as a radio personality, for most of my career. I mention that because one of the things you get drilled on when you’re on the radio is distilling every comment you make down to it’s most basic and quickest essence, less you get branded by the listener with the dreaded complaint “he talks too much.” I think my writing style, which is pretty spare and direct, comes out of this.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
I’ve always wanted to write, and had a couple of false starts, placing a couple of stories in the small press in the nineties. I even finished a YA Horror novel at that time, but it never got off the shelf. Then, in 2011, I was approached by two friends to join their writing group. One of these men, Lennox Randon, was in remission from stomach cancer. Getting his book published was one of the items on his bucket list, and he invited us to join him. When the guy with cancer is going to make writing a priority, how can you not do the same?
Four years later, each of us has published two books. A pretty good average, I think.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
I mentioned several at the top of the interview. Zelazny’s Amber books are probably the most direct ancestor of Traveler. Trav’s methods of shifting among parallel streams are not unlike Corwin’s hellrides. More than one reviewer has compared my narrative style to Butcher, which I will take as a compliment.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
My regular job is pretty 9-5, although I do a lot of events and personal appearances. I’m just finishing a stint as a guest writer for a local performance troupe, in fact. Which gave me a chance to dust off my comedy-writing chops.
I don’t necessarily write every day, but I try to do something to advance my writing each day. Whether that’s a blog post, review request, or social media activity, anything helps. I try to set aside time on the weekends for writing, but special event work can screw that up, too. Which is probably why I average two years per book. I am hoping to better that rate for the third Traveler book, however.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
One day I’m doing my radio show, and I can’t find a CD. I was certain I had gotten it from the rack on the wall, but it’s not in the stack where I thought I put it. I look everywhere. Go through all the CDs, check back at wall rack, everyplace. And I finally find it in a pile I looked through at least three times.
I thought to myself, “What if, in looking for this CD, I moved between two nearly identical parallel universes, but realities where I had put the CD in different places?”
That was the genesis of Traveler, that those little memory lapses and discontinuities where things don’t seem to be where we put them, or our memories of things differ from others’ recollections, are actually a result of us moving every day between the permeable walls of adjacent parallel realities.
I laid this idea on the framework of the story of a police detective, Trav Becker, who discovers he has the ability to control this motion among parallel “streams.” He finds himself on the trail of another version of himself who is traveling among the streams, killing every other Trav Becker he encounters. I thought a story where the protagonist has to hunt himself would be unique and fun.
I’m a lifelong sci-fi and fantasy geek, but periodically I need to take a break, and then I dive into mysteries, high-tech thrillers, and police procedurals. For quite some time, my favorite books have been stories that could be taking place in our real world; it’s just that we Muggles don’t see the strange, dangerous, supernatural world lurking beneath our ordinary one.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
The Traveler books are a little more mainstream than most of what you see in sci-fi and fantasy literature these days, although they are write in line with what we see on TV. The X-Files, Supernatural, even Doctor Who all deal with a dark and dangerous world most of us know nothing about; where one ill-equipped but courageous person stands alone between us and the destruction of life as we know it.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
Morgan Foster, the psychic who Trav discovers to his shock is his love interest in many realities, is a joy to write. She wasn’t even in the first draft of the book, but I needed a credible witness to a crime and I got to thinking about the fact that whether you believe psychic powers are real or not, a psychic has to be adept at reading people, and incredibly observant. Next thing I knew, Morgan had completely taken over the scene and become the McCoy to Sam’s Spock as the two halves of Trav’s conscious.
I love writing the interactions between Trav and Morgan, particularly those moments when Trav lets slip things he knows about her because he has encountered her on other planes of reality. Not knowing what went on between them elsewhere just drives Morgan completely, freakin’ nuts.
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
The scenes where Trav encounters other versions of himself are the most fun to write. Also the most challenging, since every character in the scene (up to nine I think, in one spot), are all the same guy! Giving each Trav his own voice is a real challenge. When a reviewer comments that even though most of the characters are multiples of the core three of Trav, Sam, and Morgan, they never have any trouble keeping them straight, it’s a huge compliment.
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
I think Traveler asks some interesting questions about the consequences of our choices, and how those choices can create fundamental changes not just in our circumstances, but our very identity.
But if the only long-term effect of reading the Traveler books is that when a reader misplaces her car keys, and mutters something under their breath about needing to get back to the universe where the keys are on the kitchen table, I’ve done my job.
11) What are your hopes for this novel?
Fame, fortune and Jim Caviezel and Amy Acker to play Trav and Morgan in the movies. But failing that, I’m just thrilled whenever someone says they like the books.
I did have just about the highest compliment anyone can pay to an author paid to me recently. At ICON, the Iowa sci-fi and fantasy conviction, three readers actually cosplayed Trav and his extra-dimensional analogues! It doesn’t get any better than that.
12) What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m working on “Hunter,” the final book in the Traveler Trilogy. I’m promising it by 2017 but if I can wrap it sooner, I will. After that, I have a couple of possible new projects in mind. One is a new twist on the “immortals living among us” trope, tentatively titled “The Twelve.” The other is a humorous thriller about the director of a broke theatre company who accidentally gets confused with the leader of a black-ops spy ring, with action and (hopefully) hilarity ensuing.
Police detective Trav Becker can travel between parallel realities. So can other versions of him. And one is systematically killing every Trav he can find. Trav must fight to keep the very fabric of time itself from unwinding as he hunts the most dangerous quarry of all… himself.
Dennis Green’s first novel, the scifi detective thriller, Traveler, ranked in the Top Ten in the 2014 Ben Franklin Independent Publishing awards, and has a 4.9 review average on Amazon. The second volume of The Traveler Chronicles,Prisoner, has just been released.
Trav Becker’s saga concludes in the final volume of the trilogy, Hunter, due in 2017. A popular radio personality in his native Iowa, Dennis’s adventures as a DJ were covered by newspapers from Anchorage to Los Angeles. He has also worked on the stage, TV, and independent film.
Dennis’s writing has appeared in the anthology Sadistic Shorts, magazines including Grift, and Romance and Beyond, as well as his own blog at denniswgreen.com. By day, he is the general manager of Iowa’s only jazz radio station, KCCKFM. And if it’s 5:30 am, you can probably find him in the pool, working out with the Milky Way Masters swim club.