Today I am interviewing Trevor B. Williams, author of the new science-fiction novel, Eternal Shadow, first book in the Fall of Gods series.
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DJ: Hi Trevor! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Trevor B. Williams: I’m very happy that you connected with me! I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but soon followed a job to Washington, DC. Today I presently live in Oakland, CA with my wife and three-year-old girl. When I’m not writing, I’m working for a healthcare tech company as a Senior Salesforce Administrator. And when I’m away from computers altogether I tend to go hiking or exploring museums with my family.\
DJ: What is Eternal Shadow about?
Trevor: Eternal Shadow is a story about perseverance in the face of the unknown, passion toward the sciences, and learning about what drives humanity – both the individual and as a species. This story focuses less on the threat to Earth, but how humanity copes with first contact and the existential crisis that is forced upon them.
DJ: What were some of your influences Eternal Shadow and the series?
Trevor: The idea of a planet-destroying object was certainly molded by both cinema and TV shows alike, from the famous Death Star in Star Wars to the Doomsday Machine in Star Trek: The Original Series. I’ve found such devices to be truly fascinating concepts. I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for such ideas have only driven me to look deeper into the fantastical plot device. My studies in behavioral psychology, too, played a large role in my wanting to explore this particular “what-if.” Understanding human behavior can be simultaneously quite simple but also terribly complex.
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?
Trevor: For this question I’ll focus on the first two main characters you meet: Jennifer, the Senior Researcher at SETI, and Samantha, a Research Scientist who reports to Jennifer.
I’d say the most distinctive aspect about Jennifer is that despite decades of tempering her expectations, she still holds onto the belief that someone else is out there for us to meet. Many people tend to harden as life marches ever-forward as lofty dreams and visions give way to the realities of the world and the universe. The bright and vibrant junior who is eager to meet ET becomes the senior who doesn’t even flinch at an alert appearing on their phone telling them a signal of unknown origin was detected. However, even the most veteran still holds a candle to see their lifelong dream come to fruition. When it does, it’s like they’re young again. It’s the most amazing thing to watch unfold.
On the other side of the coin we have Sam, an excitable researcher who tends to act first and ask questions later. Her tendency to blurt out what’s really on her mind gets her in trouble on more than one occasion, but despite the embarrassment that flashes through her when called out, she rarely regrets her decision. That she is younger and less disciplined than Jennifer tends to result in dynamics between them which I feel people can relate, whether it’s an experience between colleagues, lovers, or friends.
DJ: Aside from the main characters in the story, who is a favorite side character or a character with a smaller role for the story? Why?
Trevor: There’s one particular character which makes their debut a little more than half-way through the novel who I honestly just love. Creating him was something completely unplanned, but when everything came together, I couldn’t stop smiling.
DJ: What is the world and setting of the Fall of Gods series like?
Trevor: The Fall of Gods series starts on Earth circa 2014. The world, as it’s presented, is almost exactly like our own at that time, though one significant change is the modern history of South Africa. This is due to the presence of Muzikayise Khulu (the third main character), an industry tycoon who single-handedly reshaped the fate of South Africa shortly after apartheid ended.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Eternal Shadow?
Trevor: Extrapolating the many events that unfolded around the world following the inevitable reveal of “the object” after it destroyed Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. I also enjoyed just learning throughout the creation of the manuscript. Writing a story which was grounded in the sciences meant spending a lot of time conducting research in a couple of ways, from simply accessing published papers to connecting with experts for interviews and assistance.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Trevor: So far, one of the questions I’ve received is when will Book Two be released. I suppose that’s a good thing! Regarding the story as a whole, I’ve held discussions ranging from the role of religion to my use of politics. There was one person who nit-picked every iota of science and engineering presented throughout the novel. To sum up, I imagine the amount of content presented in Eternal Shadow could result in a variety of post-reading conversations depending on which sections really got to you.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began the Fall of Gods trilogy? Eternal Shadow 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?
Trevor: To be honest, my primary goal in writing Eternal Shadow was to explore the scenario around which the book’s premise was based. I didn’t go into the story with any particular theme or message in mind. That said, that doesn’t mean themes and messages didn’t organically develop over the course of the book’s creation. Based on the many reviews Eternal Shadow’s already received, readers are drawing their own conclusions and messages from what I’ve created – that’s all I could’ve asked for.
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 Eternal Shadow that you can share with us?
Trevor: “Let’s go break a bunch of international laws and save the world. For science!”
DJ: Now that Eternal Shadow is released, what is next for you?
Trevor: From here, DJ, I continue writing! In fact, the sequel to Eternal Shadow is already about 30 thousand words deep as of the beginning of November. Writing’s going slower now that I’m working full-time once again, but the writing will never cease!
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Author Newsletter: www.trevorwrites.com/subscribe
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Eternal Shadow and the Fall of Gods series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Trevor: Here’s one fun fact regarding Eternal Shadow: the book’s first draft was about 165 thousand words long, 40 thousand words longer than the book is today. To put it another way, my novel shrank 24% over the course of eight major revisions. I still kept everything I removed… it’s hard to throw things away.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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***Eternal Shadow is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
What would you do if the world was going to end in ten years? For Jennifer Epstein, a by-the-books senior researcher at SETI, there is only one answer: prevent the apocalypse from happening. Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus were destroyed by an alien threat. The deck was stacked against humanity before the cards came out of the box.
But Jennifer isn’t alone. She has Samantha Monroe, her excitable but brilliant colleague. From South Africa, CEO Muzikayise Khulu of Khulu Global supplies his vast resources to the ultimate race for survival. The three find themselves in an unlikely alliance while political brinkmanship, doomsday cults, and untested technologies form ever-growing obstacles.
Will humanity unite to face the greatest challenge of their time, or will it destroy itself before the alien ship arrives?
About the Author:
Trevor B. Williams was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, met his wife in the District of Columbia, and is now a father of a precocious little girl while living in Oakland, CA. Despite living in cities his whole life, he loves seeing the night sky which rests beyond the surrounding buildings. When he isn’t hiking in regional parks with his family or spending hard-earned time with friends, Trevor is creating familiar and alien worlds from the tips of his fingers.
He is addicted to all things related to astronomy, orbital mechanics, fantastical technology concepts (who doesn’t like the idea of a ringworld?), and exploring the endless possibilities behind the question “what if.”