Interview with Devin K. Smyth, author of The Contaminants

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

Order Links:  Amazon

Synopsis: When America attempts to "purify" earth to maintain its own dominance, it sparks a worldwide nuclear holocaust. Teen friends Jessil and Soraj are among the few survivors. They escaped on a cruiser that now orbits the planet and is designed to help regenerate the earth's ecosystem. Soraj’s father leads the regeneration process and is hopeful that he can salvage a region in North America for the cruiser’s return.

But when Jessil discovers a message indicating her own father may have survived the holocaust back on earth, she’s determined to rescue him immediately with Soraj's aid. Can they succeed even though the planet they return to is very different from the one they left—and that their success could mean failure for the regeneration process?

Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.

A. THE CONTAMINANTS follows the adventures of Jessil and Soraj, teen friends who alternately narrate the story of earth’s demise and potential regeneration. At the outset of the story, they are orbiting earth on a massive cruiser, where Soraj’s father is leading a desperate attempt to remotely revitalize the planet after a worldwide nuclear holocaust.

But when Jessil receives a mysterious message that indicates her own father may have survived the holocaust, she wants to return to earth immediately—even though rescuing him may endanger the revitalization of the planet.

The inspiration for the story was the fact that our military’s nuclear arsenal has the capacity to annihilate the earth several times over—so what if that actually happened? THE CONTAMINANTS is my speculation on that possibility.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

A. Like most authors, I grew attached to my characters because I recognized elements of myself in them (following the “write what you know” trope). If this story finds an audience, I would enjoy continuing it as a series.

Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to writing?

A. As a child, I didn’t really enjoy traditional books, but I couldn’t get enough of comic books. I tried to create a few of my own, but my drawing abilities were never quite good enough. I still wanted to tell stories, and after reading a lot of master authors for guidance, I started writing myself.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

A. Finding time—like most aspiring authors, I have a regular full-time job, so getting the opportunity to write can be challenging.

Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to while writing? If so, what kind of music?

A. Nothing special—I tend to stream Grooveshark just to block out external noise.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

A. Not sharing anything about works in progress, which I need to get over if I ever want to build anticipation for future works.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

A. The perfect lead-in to help me get over my quirk! My next story is still in development, but the plotline follows a slave in antebellum Virginia seeking revenge on his cruel overseer with the aid of a supernatural power that may hurt as much as it helps.

Q. What are you currently reading?

A. I’m reading AQUARIUS RISING as part of a review exchange. Next on my list is GREAT EXPECTATIONS, which a reviewer claimed was his favorite book ever. I figured with that high of praise, I should give Dickens another go.

Q. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

A. George Orwell. His novel 1984 was the first book that really got me interested in the power of words. I went on to read all of his works, including his journalism, which is very thought-provoking. And I think ANIMAL FARM is perfectly written from beginning to end.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

A. I’m entering a screenplay contest just because I had a dialogue-heavy story that seemed more suited to the movie format. Trying a new medium is also interesting although the process of storytelling still seems pretty similar.

Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!

A. Devin K. Smyth isn’t my real name although I kind of wish it was.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A. After you read a story, be sure to provide a review—and be honest. That feedback is so valuable to writers. By helping writers improve their craft, their stories become better, and readers gain more enjoyment, which makes them want to read even more. Everyone wins!

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