Today I am interviewing Steven Govorchin, author of the new pre-historical fiction novel, Plateau Dwellers.
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DJ: Hi Steven! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Steven Govorchin: Thank you very much for extending this interview to me and taking an interest in Plateau Dwellers. I was born in 1955 and grew up in Michigan. My great, eclectic journey began with military service in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, continued with a career in science and eventually expanded into the arts, including filmmaking, composing music and writing books.
DJ: What is Plateau Dwellers about?
Steven: “Plateau Dwellers” is the story of a boy who comes of age in a primitive, unchanging culture that might have existed during the Neolithic Period of a hypothetical, alternate universe. His knowledge comes from the lore he has inherited and what his senses have told him about his surroundings. As he progresses through his teen years, he begins to question the validity of everything his society accepts as true, so he sets out on a long expedition to learn about the human condition and his world. Along the way, he builds the foundation for the most unexpected discovery of all: his own true nature.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Plateau Dwellers?
Steven: Like “Clan of the Cave Bear,” the adventure (in Part One) takes place in a primitive world. Similar to “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” the main character is an alter ego of the author, who must figure out where knowledge comes from and its significance to his life. As in “Atlas Shrugged,” a protagonist must acquire information and then struggle to overcome the limitations imposed by society.
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?
Steven: The story begins when the main character, “Cheltaw Kyfe” is 13 and follows his journey throughout his early prime adult years. He is a scrawny lad who tends to question whatever he is told and try to come up with innovative ideas of his own. He recruits a couple of friends, Tavor and Sennef, to go with him when he decides to venture beyond the plateau. Tavor is a stoic and dedicated hunter. Sennef is a boy who is ready to partake in every new adventure that comes along.
DJ: Aside from the main characters in the story, who is a favorite side character or a character with a smaller role for in the story? Why?
Steven: In the second of the four main parts of the book Cheltaw meets an assertive young woman named Dahnsette who forces him to adjust his preconceived notions about women and what their roles in society should be. Cheltaw also encounters a thoroughly unlikeable authority figure named Huk who, despite his snobbish personality, distinguishes himself by standing up for his principles and suffers the consequences for doing so.
DJ: What is the world and setting of Plateau Dwellers like?
Steven: The alternate, hypothetical universe where the story takes place doesn’t have a particular name; it is just known to the reader as “Cheltaw’s World,” to distinguish it from “Our World.” The plateau is in the center of a small continent that is similar to North America and it is populated by stone age people who are just about the same as nordic Europeans. They have to contend with a temperate climate and gather food to survive. The culture has been static for a very long time. In fact, the “plateau” is a metaphor for an unchanging culture imbedded in an unchanging world. There is an established religious dogma that goes hand-in-hand with the authoritarian tribal structure.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Plateau Dwellers?
Steven: I got to project myself into the personality of the main protagonist as he faces obstacles, endures setbacks, acquires knowledge and then eventually plans what he needs to do for himself and his people.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Steven: I really think that there will be two polar opposite responses. Some people will consider the implications thoughtfully and identify with the accomplishments of the protagonist. Others will disagree with every principle the protagonist advocates and will be upset with those who like the book, including the author.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing Plateau Dwellers? Was 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?
Steven: Plateau Dwellers is a deep, philosophical exploration of the human condition. It should inspire the readers to use all the information at their disposal to examine the human condition and draw their own conclusions.
DJ: Now that Plateau Dwellers is released, what is next for you?
Steven: After I complete the soundtrack album for my third movie, “Sunburst Visage,” I will resume work on my second novel, a sci-fi/fantasy story about a dairy farmer who journeys through history on a quest to understand Good and Evil.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Plateau Dwellers that we haven’t talked about yet?
Steven: There is only one kind of human alive on our world in the present. Imagine what our perspective would be like if one or more of the earlier species of hominids had not gone extinct. In Part Three of the book, this possibility is explored. Events might have played out that way in “Our World.”
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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***Plateau Dwellers is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
Plateau Dwellers is the story of a boy who comes of age in a primitive, unchanging culture that might have existed during the Neolithic Period of a hypothetical, alternate universe. His knowledge comes from the lore he has inherited and what his senses have told him about his surroundings. As he progresses through his teen years, he begins to question the validity of everything his society accepts as true, so he sets out on a long expedition to learn about the human condition and his world. He recruits two traveling companions and steps off from the edge of his homeland, a place known as The Plateau. He first encounters a human society that has invented civilization. Later, he encounters a race of hominids that diverged from an earlier common ancestor of humans. These experiences expand his understanding of existence and purpose. He even builds the foundation for the most unexpected discovery of all: his own true nature. He eventually returns to The Plateau and is faced with having to reconcile his acquired knowledge with the paradigms that have prevailed for countless millennia.
About the Author:
Steven Govorchin was born in 1955 and grew up in Michigan. He set out on a great eclectic journey that began with military service in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, continued with a career in science and eventually expanded into the arts, including making movies, composing music and writing books.