Today I am interviewing Jay Chalk, author of the new science-fiction novel, Revolution 2050.
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DJ: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jay Chalk: Hi DJ! And thanks for your interest! A little about myself…I was a long-haul trucker back in the 1980s and part of the ‘90s. I received a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in English from UT@Tyler in 1993 and never looked back. It was in the 1990s, during a tumultuous time in my life, that I began writing. I’m now in my 20th year of teaching high school social studies–and also with four and half novels under my belt.
DJ: What is Revolution 2050 about?
Jay: After another American civil war, a totalitarian regime called the Directorate controls the region east of the Mississippi River. The protagonist, Sam Moore, is a young school teacher and member of the Directorate Party. The story is how he transforms from a subdued school teacher to a revolutionary/guerilla fighter against the very regime he once loved.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Revolution 2050?
Jay: I’ve always been a student of history. I’m fascinated how a whole population can be mesmerized to the point of blindness and follow a self-proclaimed “leader” off the deep end. The memoirs of Russian author and Cold War dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn heavily influenced the themes of my novels. Playwright, dissident and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel also impacted the thought behind my stories. Havel was a thorn in the side of the Soviet Union. His non-fiction book, Open Letters, gave me a ton of behind-the-scenes ammo when it comes to how an authoritarian regime really works behind closed doors. Add in a smidgen of Bradbury, Huxley and a touch of Orwell and there you have it.
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 would sympathize with them?
Jay: I think the most interesting thing about my characters, and several reviewers have agreed, is that my characters are common, everyday people that you can identify with. No super-hero/magical stuff here. Sam, fellow revolutionary and love interest, Katie Spencer, and her grandparents, Leo and Michelle, are the kind of people who might live next door, down the street, or perhaps co-workers you know and hangout with after work. What makes them compelling is how they interact with their surroundings–and within themselves–when faced with life-altering decisions. Those decisions not only could cost them their lives, but also could affect future generations of Americans. Continue reading