From Soraya: Interview with Steve Alten

Today I have another interview from my friend, Soraya Murillo Hernandez, from Spain. Soraya speaks Spanish, and I only speak English, so our friendship has leaned heavily on technology and Google Translate.

Soraya has so many incredible interviews that I’ve created a category for her work. This time she shares her interview with Steve Alten,  an American science fiction author. He is best known for his Meg series, a series of novels set around the fictitious survival of the megalodon, a giant prehistoric shark.

You can find all of Soraya’s interviews here.


 

Soraya—In your novel, “Meg,” the main character is full of fears, and shows that the best way to defeat them is to face them. Is there something of you in this character and in his way of facing everything?

Steve Alten—I suppose there is a little me in every main character I create. At the time I was writing MEG I was struggling to find a career, so maybe Jonas Taylor went through a similar challenge.

Soraya—There were some doubts about if you were going to continue “Meg,” but with your novel “The Trench” they were cleared. You gave more leadership to people than the own Meg. Why?

Steve Alten—I’m not sure I understand the question, sorry. I never had doubts about continuing the series; I ended “MEG” to set-up for a sequel. The order of the series is “MEG: The Trench,” “MEG: Primal Waters,” “MEG: Hell’s Aquarium,” and fifth installment— “MEG: Nightstalkers.”

Soraya—In your novel “The Loch,” you give a new version of Loch Ness. What is the reason of that new version? You wanted to get far away from the known story?

Steve Alten—The species of aquatic creature in my book is based on the best, latest zoological evidence, not on silliness. And it is far scarier.

Soraya—”Domain” begins as one genre of novel, but when you go through the story it starts to enter in the science fiction genre. Would you label it as science fiction or fantasy novel?

Steve Alten—I simply call it a thriller that seeks to explain the Mayan Calendar’s doomsday prophecy.

Soraya—How did a person with a master in sport medicine and a doctorate in sport administration end writing best sellers?

Steve Alten—I earned the degrees in order to avoid the work place for another 6 years; at the time I was trying to get in the back door to coach college basketball. The writing bug came much later.

Soraya—You have written some books about the end of times. In some of them it comes with a prophecy, but in “Grim Reaper: End of Days” it comes from a biologist. Which possibility is more real for you?

Steve Alten—“Grim Reaper” is actually written as a modern-day version of “Dante’s Inferno.” The cause of the “End of Days” deals with the release of a modern-day version of Bubonic Plague — a disease that nearly ended humanity 666 years ago. So yes – much scarier, and frighteningly feasible.

Soraya—Your novel “The Shell Game” is about a historical fiction that starts in the war of Iraq. What was the reason for that setting? Did you want, as an American, to leave a message about that war?

Steve Alten—The message and the book are filled with a hidden truth—that 9/11 was a false flag event, orchestrated by the neoconservatives—to invade Iraq and control the oil.

Soraya—”Meg” became a movie and a popular radio serial in Japan. What did this mean to you?

Steve Alten—Hopefully, the movie will share the story with millions of people and entertain them. For me personally, it will be a 20 year dream come true.

Soraya—It is said that so many teenagers began to know literature and the desire to read with you. Is this the biggest gratification for an author?

Steve Alten—Yes. The Adopt-an-Author program, which uses MEG and some of my other work in schools, has motivated many reluctant teens to read by making reading fun. For your readers – they should go to SteveAlten.com.

Soraya—What writers do you like to read?

Steve Alten—Peter Benchley, Thomas Harris, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Ian Fleming, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice…

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith's work has been published in several print and online publications, including the “Horror Writers Association's Poetry Showcase” vols. 2-4, “Christmas Lites” vols. 1-6 and the “Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthology. She has nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, YAs and children. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.
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