Interview with Benjamin X. Wretlind, author of scifi All We Leave Behind: Transits of Three
Following the exodus from rising floodwaters, the surviving descendants of those who came to create a society on a planet far from Earth have struggled to rebuild within the remains of an ancient temple. Now, as disease and an unfamiliar environment threaten to destroy them yet again, everyone seems to have an opinion about what to do next.
Miriam and Tobias Page, newly married, believe there may be a possible home beyond a distant canyon. Their journey with a quarter of the population doesn’t start well and soon nature and their own humanity will conspire to end it all. Meanwhile, Miriam’s two cousins, Joel and Micah, have different ideas. Joel is convinced the best course of action is to return to the mountains they left to mine for the ore that would make a great return to Earth possible. Micah hopes to stay, learn all he can about the temple’s previous occupants, and prove both of them wrong. But soon, he and his new partner Patience realize that no option is truly safe.
As the transits of three different groups get underway, new dangers and surprises emerge from within the rainforests, mountains, and deserts of the planet…and one of those may have followed them from Earth. While a final home is a dream away, present nightmares must be dealt with first if any of them are going to survive.
Excerpt from All We Leave Behind
“How many?” Moran asked.
“Four. Just up ahead.” Tobias tightened his grip on his weapon.
“Bethany is waiting for us.”
Moran stopped and watched as the caravan slowly edged toward the right, away from immediate danger. “Wish we had more to spare.”
“So do I.” Tobias took in a calming breath and let it out slowly. The nervousness in his stomach eased up. Miriam had taught him several techniques for dealing with fear, for calming his anxiety and sharpening his mind. He would forever be grateful to be married to a counselor, a therapist, a wise wizard of the brain’s complications.
“Ready?” Moran asked.
They both walked slowly toward Bethany’s position, their eyes locked on the trees where Tobias saw the four animals.
“Eight,” Bethany whispered as they approached. “Four more in a cluster of trees to the right of the others.”
“Typical pack. Haven’t heard the growl, yet,” Moran said. “Maybe they didn’t see us.”
“Oh, they did.” Tobias pointed to the tree with the first rychat he spotted. “I swear I saw that one lick its lips.”
“Well, we’ll have to take care of that.”
Moran raised his crossbow and took aim at the one Tobias pointed out. In tandem, both Tobias and Bethany raised their own weapons.
“One on the trunk,” Tobias whispered.
Bethany responded. “The big one to the right.”
The three were silent as they steadied themselves.
An Interview with Benjamin X. Wretlind
-What inspired you to become a writer?
When I was little, I was surrounded by books. Not just at the library, but at home. My father was a professor of ancient languages and a voracious reader. In his study–a part of the house that was sacred–there were probably a thousand or more books. Some of those books were even in English, and that’s where I gravitated. I loved to read his books, to get into the heads of those characters hidden away on his shelf, and eventually I stole some of them. I still have my copy of The Odyssey with his “Library of…” impression on the first page. I think because of this need to be around books and to read them, I crafted my own stories. From there, the writing gig just took off.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Given that the colonists of this world are having the most trouble dealing with the fauna that isn’t too keen on them being there, I would have to say the first thing I would do would be to pick up a crossbow, a lance, and finally hide myself away inside one of their buildings. Hopefully that building would have all those alien texts–then I could have something to do. I would, however, love to explore some of the surrounding areas.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Miriam would likely tell me that she never wanted to be a counselor and wished people would stop coming to her with their issues. Aaron might tell me that he just wants to feel like he’s a part of something rather than being the outsider. He has a few secrets, but even at two in the morning, he wouldn’t tell them. I am sure Micah would tell me all about Christina, his lost love, while also trying to explain how to read the alien texts the colonists found. And Joel? Well, he’d go on and on about Petra and what life might be like back on Earth–assuming he can ever get there.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I think I would pick Aaron. Even though he is the rebel and outcast (with quite a few secrets), I think he and I would hit it off. Not that I’m a rebel, but we would have a lot to talk about. From that connection, I would hope to be able to help him with his esteem issues and try to get him back into the fold of the colony. As Aaron is one of those people who push others away, it would be hard at first, but eventually the colony would realize that his skills could be very useful in what they’re dealing with.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I would say Romance, but that’s not exactly true. There is quite a bit of romance in my books. It’s important to get into the heads of the characters to see how they would react with each other, and from that comes romantic entanglements. However, when romance moves into the realm of erotica, I have trouble. I think that would be the genre I would need to avoid, not only for my sake, but for the sake of my readers who might cringe at all my missteps along the way.
About Benjamin X. Wretlind
Benjamin, a speculative fiction author, ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time.
Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.
Benjamin X. Wretlind will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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