Today I am interviewing Jamie Sawyer, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Eternity War: Pariah, first book in the Eternity War series.
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DJ: Hey Jamie! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jamie: Thanks so much for interviewing me! Well, I’m a science fiction writer based in the UK. Although I have a full-time job, writing has always been my passion and I’ve written SF since before I can remember. My books are exciting space adventures with a military aspect. If you enjoy tales of starships, daring space missions, and mysterious alien races, then these books are for you. The Eternity War is my second trilogy, which is set in the same universe as my first series The Lazarus War – although you don’t need to have read the first series to enjoy the second!
DJ: What is The Eternity War: Pariah about?
Jamie: Pariah is the story of Lieutenant Keira Jenkins, commanding officer of the Jackals. Jenkins and her team are members of the Simulant Operations Programme – they use technology that allows them to operate copies of themselves (“simulants”) in the most deadly theatres of war. One body dies, but you can come back in another: and you get to use whatever you learnt the first time around. But the Jackals are a green outfit, and Jenkins struggles to manage them. They discover the existence of an alien virus and become embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens to destabilise galactic peace. There’s lots of action, intrigue and adventure along the way!
DJ: What were some of your influences The Eternity War: Pariah and the series?
Jamie: I’m influenced by so many things that the list is almost endless! Video games, literature, movies, music: it all goes into the mix. In terms of authors, I’d say that my biggest influences have been Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman and John Steakley. I think that Starship Troopers, The Forever War and Armor are the triumvirate of military SF classics! But I’m an avid SF reader, and modern authors like Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell and Gary Gibson are right up there too.
For Pariah specifically, though, Enemy Mine (both the story by Barry B Longyear and the film) sort of influenced me: the idea of working with an enemy that you don’t understand, but that you have to trust, is a very enduring one.
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? (aka What makes them compelling?)
Jamie: Every character in the Jackals has a story to tell… Jenkins is the narrator and main character in Pariah. She’s Californian by birth, and as an Old Earther she’s in the minority. Although she’s disciplined, with a long Army career behind her, she can also be headstrong and impulsive at times. That said, she takes her responsibility to her squad very seriously. But not everything goes to plan for Jenkins, and she often finds that the team doesn’t act as she’d like.
Meanwhile, we have a supporting cast that includes Feng (a former member of the Asiatic Directorate – an organisation that was once the great enemy of the Alliance), Novak (a life-prisoner, given a chance of reprieve in the Sim Ops Programme), Lopez (daughter of the most powerful political figure in the Alliance), and Riggs (second-in-command and Jenkins’ sometime love interest). There are also assorted starship captains, military leaders and alien emissaries that the Jackals encounter during their mission…
DJ: What is the universe of the Eternity War series like?
Jamie: It’s big! Humanity has developed FTL travel (it’s called quantum-jumping, or Q-jumping, in my universe), and the military-industrial complex is out of control. There are hundreds of occupied worlds, thousands of space stations, and even more secrets yet to be discovered.
The main setting for the series is the Maelstrom: an area of space occupied by the enigmatic Krell Empire. Their homeworlds are called the Reef Stars, deep within a sector blighted by black holes and stellar rifts. The Krell rely on bio-technology, and make everything from ships to weapons to their own troops.
There are several human factions in the Eternity War universe, but mainly the Alliance, and the remains of the Asiatic Directorate. These two power blocs were once at war, but the Directorate has since collapsed and fallen into decline.
Meanwhile, the Shard overshadow everything that happens in the Eternity War setting. They were once the masters of the Milky Way – a machine race of unimaginable power – but they have been absent for a long time.
When the book opens, the galaxy has been at peace for several years. However, things don’t stay that way for long…
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Eternity War: Pariah?
Jamie: I really enjoyed writing about the Krell. There’s so much to them that I want to tell the reader – I often reigned myself in, because I wanted to focus on the story rather than examine this alien race! Without wishing to give too much away, there’s a character in Pariah that really let me explore the Krell and give the reader an insight into them as a functioning alien species. Who doesn’t love living starships that have been infected with deadly alien viruses? Imagining how a plague or infection might contaminate living technology was also something that really interested me.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Jamie: I hope that they will be drawn into the next book! There are lots of twists and turns along the way, and I hope that Pariah pulls you into this universe on the cusp of war. The ending should leave you wanting more! I’m currently writing the second book in the trilogy, which is called Exodus, and I’m enjoying answering many of the challenges that I set up in Pariah.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began the Pariah series? The Eternity War: Pariah is only the first book, but 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?
Jamie: With all of my books, I aim to give the reader an intense emotional experience. I want the book to be exciting, to be enjoyable and to engage the reader. I think that’s all that any author can ever ask, to be honest. This world is like a blockbuster movie, crammed into a paperback. I want my books to grab you, and not let go until that very last page.
DJ: Now that The Eternity War: Pariah is released, what is next for you?
Jamie: I’m busy on several projects at the moment, but because I work full-time as well I’ve been focusing on the second book in The Eternity War. It’s called Exodus, and I think it might well be the most exciting book I’ve written so far…
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** The Eternity War: Pariah is published by Orbit and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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About the Book:
The first novel in a brand-new series from rising SF star Jamie Sawyer, The Eternity War: Pariah is an action-packed adventure set in the same universe as his acclaimed Lazarus War novels.
The soldiers of the Simulant Operations Programme are mankind’s elite warriors. Veterans of a thousand battles across a hundred worlds, they undertake suicidal missions to protect humanity from the insidious Krell Empire and the mysterious machine race known as the Shard.
Lieutenant Keira Jenkins is an experienced simulant operative and leader of the Jackals, a team of raw recruits keen to taste battle. They soon get their chance when the Black Spiral terrorist network seizes control of a space station.
Yet no amount of training could have prepared the Jackals for the deadly conspiracy they soon find themselves drawn into – a conspiracy that is set to spark a furious new war across the galaxy.
About the Author:
Jamie Sawyer was born in 1979 in Newbury, Berkshire. He studied Law at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, acquiring a Masters degree in human rights and surveillance law. He is a full-time barrister, practicing in criminal law, working in courts throughout the London and East Anglian regions.
When he isn’t working in law or writing, Jamie enjoys spending time with his family. He lives in Essex. His debut novel, ARTEFACT, was published in 2015, with the sequel LEGION later the same year. The books form part of the LAZARUS WAR series, including the novella REDEMPTION (published 2015). The concluding novel in the series is ORIGINS.
Jamie is represented by Robert Dinsdale, of the Independent Agency.