Interview with Author Rick Pipito on “Techno Feast”
Q: Where does this book fall into your other novel continuity?
Rick: This is the 6th book in the series, but also works as a standalone novel. You don’t need to read the others to understand what is happening. I wrote it in a way where someone could just pick it up and fall right into the story.
Q: It wraps up the second trilogy, but do you plan more in the series?
Rick: Originally, the plan was to have 6 novels in this series. When book 3 was wrapping up, I came up with a concept for three additional ones. So yes, we have the Eden’s Order Trilogy, this one wraps up the Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy, and then there will be a new trilogy that takes place around 20 years after this one, so slightly futuristic.
Q: So where will book 7 take us? What are the threats?
Rick: I’ve said it before that I don’t want to do the same thing twice. I’ve done zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons and technology. Where Techno Feast ends, sets up the future. I’ve been a fan of comic books most of my life, so I wanted to do a story where people have extraordinary super abilities. I am doing it differently though. What if these abilities were applied to physics in the real world? It will be a horror feel of what would happen if you couldn’t control these abilities.
Q: Techno Feast is the longest of the books so far. What made it so different than writing your previous ones?
Rick: It was both the most difficult and the easiest in a way. It was easy because I’ve had the stories in my head for a few novels, so I was able to set up events to come, which made writing this one simple. The difficult part was making it stand alone (like the others) and trying to wrap up EVERYTHING that remained a loose end. I wanted this book to be presented in a way, where in the end, the audience was satisfied, and could extrapolate their own ideas as to what might happen to the world. I really left it in a place of closure, but opened the door for the next trilogy.
Q: Do you have a favorite technological thriller that is not your own, like an inspiration?
Rick: I’ve always loved the Terminator movies and the first Matrix. In book form, I was a big fan of the X-Men Days of Future Past, where giant robots called Sentinels were basically running the planet.
Q: There is a major event that happens early on, that newcomers to the series may not find too drastic, but for those of us who have read your prior works, it was entirely unexpected. (Event mentioned off interview). What made you decide to do this, and was it difficult to make it work?
Rick: I literally get tears in my eyes when I think about it. It may sound crazy, but these characters are derived from my mind, and in a way they are a part of me. I feel like I know them as friends. So when I do something drastic like what you mentioned, then it upsets me. Even if you don’t know the character, the scene is very emotional to newcomers. I wanted something early on to say “Hey, nothing is safe anymore.” It was a way of showing long time fans of the series that from that moment on out, ANYTHING could happen.
Q: Your brother, Dan Pipito came up with the art for the cover again. Tell us about that process and concept.
Rick: He also did the one piece I had inside the book. With the interior, he just recreated my initial design of the coin mentioned in the story. The cover was his idea all around. He felt that a satellite was the way to go for the cover. The color scheme was perfect as well. It really captures the vast feel of possibilities in this series, so I am delighted to constantly have him as a consultant throughout everything, especially with his art.
Q: The series could technically end here and all would be closed out, but you left quite a bit for the audience to wonder. Will these questions be addressed?
Rick: Yes. Like I said, if a reader never came back for the next installments, then they could just use their imagination as to how things pan out, but I think everyone will want to know what the future holds, and have those few things answered. I have some amazing ideas, and each threat is always bigger than the last in some manner, so a lot will be built up from here on out.
Q: How much research went into the events that happen in the book, and how much is based on real life consequences?
Rick: The Illuminati, Freemason, Knights Templar stuff is all based on fact, with some added content to make it a story. I’ve always been fascinated with secret societies, so having them as a crucial part of the story and respecting them was difficult to do. They hold part of the key of ending the threat. The Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn estate was a great deal of research. I went on a tour there and told my wife, “This is going to be in my next book.” She agreed that the symbology and history in the place was perfect for it. I highly recommend going there sometime. It’s really breathtaking all around, and I went back four or five times just to capture the essence of it all. As far as the consequences, well I did numerous searches for things like “What if the world went bankrupt” and “what would happen if…”. There were many theories based on facts that became a basis with which to work. I’m confident that much of this would be accurate, had it actually happen to us in real life.
Q: Will you release this as a trilogy publication, and if so, will it include extra content?
Rick: Yes. I released the first three novels in one compilation and had extras there. For this, I will eventually release the Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy as a whole. The extras will be the spinoff stories from the comics, but in novelized form. There will also be 3 bonus short stories, and instead of a timeline in it, I’m going to include a hint as to what’s coming. Even if you buy the novels separately, all of the extras will be available to purchase separately as well.
Q: What have been the biggest writing challenges with this novel and the series?
Rick: Consistency. It is easy to forget things in fine detail from book 1 when you are writing book 6. Things like character ages etc become a hassle as you have to remember what amount of time is going on between books. Keeping true to the characters, and convincing the audience of a realistic feel is the hardest thing to do, but so far I’ve got mostly all positive feedback, and the few minor critiques I received for the first two installments, I really tried to use as a learning curve. I grow with each novel, and feel that my writing matures each time.
Q: The book is dedicated to Tony Luke Jr. What made you decide to choose him, and to include his original sandwich shop in this book?
Rick: I’ve dedicated each of my novels to friends I’ve had with businesses. There was always a correlation too with the dedication. For Bones, I dedicated it to a Chiropractor friend. For Blood it was a winery. This book has a lot happening in my hometown of Philadelphia. Philly is known for cheese steaks among other things. Tony is like a second brother to me. He and I see eye to eye on a lot of things, and he’s a great friend to the point where he is a part of my family. It was only right that I included him in some way. (Plus, he asked when I was going to put him in one of my stories) lol
Q: Why did you choose the particular settings in the book?
Rick: Philadelphia has been a part of my novels, so bringing the core team here was easy. The other places were just strategic points. Jason Black had to be based somewhere near Russia because of the events prior. Alaska was new territory, but I’ve known people that live there. Colorado came in later, because I’ve always wanted to delve deeply into criminal psychoses. The prison story seemed like the best setting, and I wanted those people inside to be the most demented people out there. I also had to include the Garden of Eden and Atlantis because of the prior novels.
Q: Will there be a graphic spinoff and do you have a projected release on the next novel in this series?
Rick: The graphic spinoff of “Techno Feast” will be called “Final Upgrade.” That won’t be available until after the “Demonic Entities” spinoff. As far as next release though in the book series, Book 7 is called “Genetic Morsels” and will come out in 2015. There will be plenty of releases between now and then though to keep readers wanting more.
Q: You seem to be dedicating a lot of time to your wife’s career now as well. What is it like juggling all of your combined projects and being a parent?
Rick: I’m her editor and CEO of Roberta’s “Homemade Delish”. She is the next big thing in the cooking world, and anyone who has seen her work knows it. I’m sort of the force that pushes her forward when she has a slight doubt, and she loves doing it. It is difficult getting to where she is going, but in 2 years, Homemade Delish has become more than either of us have imagined. It does take up a great deal of my time, as well as being a parent, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It all keeps me on my toes. Then there is our podcast and my music to add to it. If I could change one thing, it would be to make all of these my main projects. I still have to work a full time job in order to support our careers, but it will all pay off soon. Being able to do it all without having to worry about whether we will be able to afford our bills would be nice.
Q: How has critic reaction been with your books thus far?
Rick: Well if they weren’t loved, I’d move on to something new and let these characters rest. I’ve gotten overwhelming positive responses. The authors database (www.authorsdb.com) has a bio page and direct links to each of my books, and I woke up the other morning to find out that I received a 5 star rating from them, as well as making it into the top 25 of independent authors. I don’t think I’ve smiled that big since my kids were born. It’s a breathtaking experience to be put on such a high pedestal. My writing continues to improve through the criticism that I received in the beginning. Everyone seemed to love “Flesh and Leftovers,” but there were writing flaws in it that I could have made better. I progressed from that, and now with “Techno Feast” and the others under my belt it keeps getting better. I take all reviews seriously and learn from them, but they’ve all been super positive as of late.
Where can anyone get a copy of “Techno Feast”?
This concludes the interview with Rick Pipito. Feel free to post your own questions or inbox them, as these are a compilation of questions asked by fans and inquiring minds. Thanks for reading!