Today I am interviewing David L. Golemon, author of the new science-fiction thriller novel, The Traveler, eleventh book in Event Group Thriller series.
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DJ: Hey David! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
David L. Golemon: Thank you DJ for having me. David L. Golemon is not a very complicated person to get to know. I raised three great children on my own since they were very small, so I actually do know the horrors and fears of parenting. I am a veteran of the United States Army and former manufacturing specialist for a few of the larger corporations in the world. After many years of the real world, I felt it was time to move on and create worlds of my own, worlds I can more readily understand more than the one in which we live, thus, here I am many years later still developing that new world, and to be honest with you DJ, a world which is far better to handle than the current real world we find ourselves.
DJ: What is The Traveler about?
David: The Traveler was one of my more daunting tales as far as scientific research was concerned. When penning a novel about deep science, such as time travel, I felt most stories in that genre lacked realism as far the means in which to achieve it. The Traveler is a story about friendship and loyalty. The ways, lengths and means friends and colleagues will go to protect and save those they love. The story takes you from World War II Germany and the concentration camps, to a world three hundred thousand years in the past. It’s about loyalty to those that have fallen in the service of their country and the efforts of those left behind to assure those lost have not sacrificed their lives in vain. The Traveler was a tale close to my heart because it involved many varying theories on the impossibility of time travel. The real Traveler in the story is not who my loyal followers of the series thought it would be about, but another who made the world of time travel open up to save those from the past. How a society can be cruel and murderous to those individuals who advance ideas that most of the world could never understand and are condemned for that reason. The Traveler is about hope and the people who have the courage to dream.
DJ: How about Event Group Thriller series?
David: When I wrote the original EVENT, I took an extreme chance in laying very little ground work for the characters and their histories. The chance was that EVENT may not have been popular enough to delve further into getting to know the large cast of personalities in the series before it would be axed from the publishing world. I wanted the reader to slowly get to know the people of my world slowly, just as you would in a normal working or friendship environment. I wanted the reader to become a part of the storylines as if they knew the GROUP on a personal and professional level. Some fans have found this a little bit of a dirty trick as when danger, and even death occurs, it affects them as much as the fictional characters they are reading about. Thankfully the good folks at Thomas Dunne and St. Martin’s Press saw potential in this storyline and gave EVENT a chance.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Traveler and the Event Group Thriller series?
David: Believe it or not, the premise for the Event Group was steeped in lore long before I came along. In 1973 while in the U.S. Army, I was speaking with a gruff Marine Gunnery Sergeant who had been retired since before World War II. He was a veteran of the first world war and was one of those funny old guys who still wore an old Marine Corps campaign hat, you know, the kind that look like Smokey the Bear’s headgear. While sitting with him one afternoon he rambled on about what he did in the Marines before the Great War. A tale that most said was his age speaking, but I could see in his eyes that he was reliving the story he was relating, needless to say I listened. He said that there were certain areas of the armed forces that were under civilian control and the duties they performed on behalf of the American people was the collection and cataloguing of historical artifacts. That he had been a part of this unusual arrangement. The military, who were stationed all around the world, thus had excellent cover stories, were in a position to smuggle historical artifacts out of other countries. Items then were catalogued and shipped to the states. Most who heard the story scoffed at the notion. The old Marine would smile and nod his head that he understood their consternation. But I saw that glimmer in his eyes. I suspected while not all of the story was true, it still had that inkling of fact that most legends start out with. Thus, that day in 1973, the word of the Event Group was born. Department 5656, a secretive branch of the United States Archives is tasked to bring home all relevant artifacts of world history to better understand the past and to avoid the same mistakes that have occurred throughout recorded history. The name of the Event Group derives from major events that have shaped world history and their job is to identify these EVENTS, so the nation can avoid making the same mistakes that have altered the world forever.
DJ: Since The Traveler is the eleventh book of this series, I’m sure many readers want to know if this can be read as a stand-alone?
David: Yes. All of the Event Group tales have brief explanations of character history and circumstances that have led up to the current storyline. That is not to say that the reader would get far more enjoyment out of coming along for the entire ride as they are all a part of the story themselves. There is a hidden trilogy inside the series that stems from book one; EVENT, continuing with LEGACY and ending with OVERLORD. Now these three do need to be read in order for the reader to get fully into the disastrous events of those three novels. But otherwise, once you pick up a book concerning Department 5656, the Event Group, you will be swept along for a ride you would never have seen coming.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
David: Well DJ, the characters are what make the Event Group stories as compelling as they are. They are a very eclectic group of individuals. We have lost many along the way and readers have literally felt that loss. But the main characters still endure. Colonel Jack Collins is a flawed hero. A man dedicated to keeping the department hidden from the eyes of the world. One who takes personnel losses to heart. A man who has seen the ugly side of warfare and of the world and despises it. There is Commander Carl Everett, Jack Collins opposite and also his best friend. A navy man that has also faced the wrong side of life and is Jack’s conscience. Captain Sarah McIntire, the small geologist who had to fight her way to respectability because of the short sightedness of those in power. Sarah has to prove herself on every mission. She is also the gruff Colonel Collins lone susceptibility in life. They love each other in a world that will not allow that love to become public. On the civilian side, we have the Director of the GROUP, Doctor Niles Compton, one of the most brilliant men in government service. Niles leads the Group as he learns about the men and women in his charge. Then one of the most favored characters of all the main cast, Professor Charles Hindershot Ellenshaw III. This man is behind the most controversial department at the agency; Cryptozoology. Crazy Charlie as he is known behind his back, is a brilliant but misunderstood 1973 graduate of Cal Berkley and he brings the old ‘Lets change things’ attitude to the Group. Captain Will Mendenhall, a kid from East Los Angeles who has risen in the ranks from Sergeant to Captain. His best friend, former naval aviator, Commander Jason Ryan is a constant challenge to those men in authority and Will’s best friend. These two men have been tagged to become the new leaders of the security department and almost mirror those attitudes of their superiors, Colonel Collins and Commander Everett. These are a few of the characters the readers have come to know, and while some of their antics are comical in nature (every soldier and civilian joke at the oddest of times because of fear) they are dedicated to bringing the truth of the world’s past to the forefront of society.
DJ: What is the world and setting of The Traveler like?
David: DJ, the world in which the Traveler has sprung from is a dark one indeed. During the war, we are sent to horrible, dark places. The confinement of humanity just for the simple reason of prejudice and hatred. Human experimentation in its most brutal and devastating forms. From there we are introduced to greed in the modern world and what lengths evil men will go to justify that accumulation of wealth and knowledge. We learn how men and women can become a force for good to challenge men of that sad perversion. Through the wonders of science, we are introduced to a mysterious world of nature long ago left in the past. To achieve this, the Event Group, as it always has, relies on marvelous technology. I am proud to say that all sciences in these tales are meticulously researched and include only those that are actually on a drawing board or theories that are in actual study today. These sciences have to be believable or the reader or fan of the series will not trust you in your telling of the story. Since the Group is controlled solely by the President of the United States, you can imagine the conundrums Director Niles Compton has in keeping the secretive Event Group from being politicized or militarized to meet a President’s agenda. Most times it is a slim line to walk. The Event Group had its origins in the deep American past. Abraham Lincoln is the force behind the Group. The tale is recorded in the stand-alone novel; The Mountain. Department 5656 came into law and its charter was laid down by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917, a man most historians would agree to be the most brilliant man outside of Lincoln ever to hold the office of President.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Traveler?
David: As in all of my stories my favorite parts are the prologues that set up the bread-crumb chase that follows. As Alfred Hitchcock once said, it’s not the object that thrills the reader, but the chase to get to it. This is what I like. I want the reader to be dragged into a world of the chase and excitement. But naturally as I have been quoted before, the real joy is the historical research involved in writing alternative timelines and histories. For example, in the Traveler, we open in a facility created by Nazi science. While time travel was not a Nazi theory that was pursed, other, far stranger sciences were. This came at a devastating cost to concentration camp prisoners. Delving into experimentation on men, women and children, is something that will never, ever, leave my memories of the Traveler. Science achieved through misery and pain is not science, it is a sick brand of necromancy that will haunt this world forever.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
David: The fierceness of love and friendship. The overwhelming power of wanting to do the right thing. I hope they talk about what it takes to keep this world together in one piece. To dream is to achieve, to achieve is to be a large part of the world we inhabit. To never give up on men and women we love, no matter what the cost. That, DJ, is what I hope they take away from reading the Traveler.
DJ: What was your goal when you began writing the The Traveler? Is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
David: As in all of the Event Group tales, the goal is a simple one, as the brilliant philosopher George Santayana once put it, and is the cornerstone theory behind the Event Group from the opening stanza of the original EVENT novel, and a quote that Is placed prominently above the door to the Event Group Director’s office; “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. That is the single driving force behind the stories of the Event Group. As we are learning even today, those in power have to use history as a guide. We seem to be living in a time where we have forgotten how we got here, why we are heading in the direction we are. History can guide us through these very perilous times. Let’s just hope we remember enough to stop some of the madness we are heading for. Unfortunately, we may not have an Event Group there to point this out. But we can always hope!
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Traveler that you can share with us?
David: Oh, DJ, that’s an easy one. With the science and human frailty used in the Traveler, and the way in which this aberration was invented and achieved, there could only be one quote that was applicable to the tale and the sciences involved. I opened the prologue using a quote from the most brilliant human being in history (maybe he’s an alien, the jury is still out on that one) Albert Einstein; “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity…” That just about sums up the entire story of The Traveler in one quote.
DJ: Now that The Traveler is released, what is next for you?
David: In June Thomas Dunne and St. Martin’s Press is releasing a novel that is near and dear to my heart. It involves one of Americas most enduring legends and will send readers into a world never before described, another dimension. I believe ‘Beyond the Sea’ will be one of those tales that will stick with the adventurer in all of us. Beyond the Sea takes on not only a new science that sent what the world has come to know as the Philadelphia Experiment into myth and legend, it opens the door to the real threat of our world today. As I have warned my readers for years, the Russians have never gone away, just as they are doing today, they are on the verge of making a nuisance of themselves once again. I think the fans, and even first time readers of the Group, will recognize from the story just what is up in the world of Russian intent.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: Bios and books are discussed by readers of the series…don’t take my word for it, the fans of the series will tell you themselves if your time and investment in the Event Group is worth it.
Facebook: Yes, a little more in depth discussions.
Google+: Just type my name and learn more:
Linkedin: I’m there!
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Traveler and the Event Group Thriller series that we haven’t talked about yet?
David: Whenever the words science fiction or fantasy, or even military history is concerned, some people have an automatic shutoff when they are uttered. But the world has learned so much about ourselves from genres such as these. We fear what we do not understand, when it should be that we actually thrive learning about that we fear most—the unknown. The Event Group is here to point out the mistakes of the past and warn of the dangers of not learning from that past. As you may have derived from my words here today, I am a staunch learner and teacher of the history we share in the world. We MUST NOT forget how we got here. We must go forward with full knowledge that we cannot undo the past, but we can arrange the future thanks to that past.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
David: On the contrary DJ, thank you for letting this wayward writer of the fantastic to bend your ear a while. As you may know, I do not usually grant interviews, but this was an opportunity to get the story of the Event Group set straight. I hope this reaches those who will give the fantastic a chance to enter their lives, after all, what have we to lose but our future!
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*** The Traveller is published by Thomas Dunne Books and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | IndieBound | Kobo
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267,000 BCE. The continent was its own world, untouched by the planet-wide catastrophe that ended the reign of the dinosaurs over sixty-five million years before. A traveler arrives in the jungles of this ancient world who will fight to survive carnivorous creatures in a land never meant for human kind.
In another time and in a land far distant, men and women struggle to recover from the loss of so many of their own in a battle. Inside of this Group, Colonel Jack Collins has summoned the best of the best from the most secretive organization in the United States government, The Event Group, to help him in his quest. The new mission is to recover one of their own: to bring home a lost soldier from a world that existed in the distant past.
To accomplish the impossible, Department 5656, the Event Group, will have to travel to a place and time far removed from their own world – almost 300,000 years in the past. The trail to find the technology to accomplish time travel will be ripe with treachery and murder as the Group fights to bring home their friend, Captain Carl Everett, a man that was lost in a battle to save the world. This will be a fight that if lost, will change the very history of the planet and thus our present.
David L. Golemon is the author of the Event Group Thrillers, including Event, Ancients, Leviathan and Primeval. Legend, the second book in the series, was nominated for a RITA award for paranormal fiction. Golemon learned an early love of reading from his father, who told him that the written word, unlike other forms, allows readers to use their own minds, the greatest special effects machines of all—an idea Golemon still believes. The only thing he loves more than writing is research, especially historical research, and he sees the subtext of his Event novels as being that understanding history allows us to create a better future. Golemon grew up in Chino, California, and now makes his home in New York.