Interview: A COURSE FOR HUMANITY
With any new release I often get questions regarding my books and projects. A COURSE FOR HUMANITY has given me the honor to receive the same, so here are a few that I’ve received recently. Feel free to send your own questions or comment below, and I’ll be sure to answer.
Q: Is “A COURSE FOR HUMANITY” part of your Eternal Hunger Saga, or is this something new?
Rick: In a way it is both. Like all my novels, I like them to be stand alone entries that occur within the same fictitious world. This book begins in the future with a new cast, but for fans of the previous entries, there are subtle nods to certain things.
Q: How long did it take you to write?
Rick: Typically a novel takes me six months, once I begin actually writing it. There is a lot of planning before hand, so the whole process is slightly longer. For “A Course For Humanity” it was a lot different. I actually came up with this idea back in early 2000. I finished writing the first rough draft by mid 2001. Then September 11th happened, and I sort of shelved the idea. I became so engrossed in my emotion at the time that I concentrated more on my music. When I started getting into writing books it just remained in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until last year that I decided it was time to take my original idea and make it work. So from concept to finish, it technically has been seventeen years.
Q: 17 years?! Wow. How much did your original concept change and evolve into the final product?
Rick: A lot. My writing has become more consistent and better since then, and even my first novel. I’m always looking forward and not back, so I wanted something that would have some staying power, and still fit in my Eternal Hunger Saga. The core story from my original idea is still there, but with better dialogue and narrative. It’s exciting to me to be able to tie it in with what is now in my series, and still be something old and new.
Q: Who is your main character, and what makes them a good lead?
Rick: Well in a way this novel has multiple mains. It really focuses on the Continuum group as a solid unit, but if I had to choose a main character for this trilogy, it would be Francis Murphy. He’s a mass murderer. He’s a vampire. He is struggling with the reemergence of his humanity, and while he is forced to deal with that, it’ll ultimately be up to him to save him self and the human race. The question is whether he will do it or not, and if so what are his motives?
Q: I thought you were only doing one book about vampires. What made you change your mind?
Rick: The fact that he’s a vampire is secondary in this book. BLOOD THE SECOND HELPING was my core vampire novel. I don’t want to do any of that again. A COURSE FOR HUMANITY is really a focus on our decisions as a human race. We become our own downfall, and the few who step up to prevent such a catastrophe may seem unqualified, but it makes for a very surreal (despite it being time travel) story.
Q: So current events had a say in what you did with this book?
Rick: I try to stay medium with my politics in my books. I don’t push any certain way. Some authors like to push their political opinions as a theme. I only use them for characters. I might have a die hard Republican or Democrat character pop in every now and then, but that is to keep it realistic. It is never a focus. The past election in the USA influenced my decision to make the book happen now. There are political undertones in the prologue that basically set up everything. It basically talks about how hateful and unaccepting of differing opinions, people have become. I’m one of those people who has strong feelings on certain things, but I never hold it against others who don’t agree. I try to see where they are coming from, and if I can influence my reasoning a little on them, then at the end of the day both parties are better for it. I just don’t see why the divide is becoming greater. It’s not a good course for humanity.
Q: Haha. I see what you did there. So what are the challenges in writing time travel into a book?
Rick: This one was easy to be honest. I kept the beginning of the story a few hundred years in the future, and the finale a short jump into our future. No events have happened yet to actually influence the narrative. That was a relief. The challenge came in explaining how time travel works. I’m very acute with detail when it comes to making these things believable. I did my best to explain why you could travel into the past, but never into the future (unless the future ripped you from your place in the past). I also explained many alternate outcomes of our actions at any place in time.
Q: What is the deal with the cover? It is a really eye catching design.
Rick: It’ll make more sense once you read the book, but the green waves in the sky represent a shift in the time line. Something has changed. Think of the wave as erasing what is there and rewriting something else. My brother usually does the cover art, but he’s been tied up with my next children’s book, so I went and designed this one. I still went to him for advice and for pinging cover ideas off of. That way I didn’t feel like I was replacing him, and he was still involved in a limited capacity.
Q: You said you were writing a lot of music when you shelved this idea originally. Did this come into play at all in your songs?
Rick: Yes, actually. I wrote two songs about it. The first was called “Leech,” which I performed with my old band Code Blue. The second was called “Swallowed By The Sun” which I played with Everyone Loves Mahoney. Both had a different feel musically, but worked well with the lyrics.
Q: Can we hear these songs anywhere or see the lyrics?
Rick: Actually, yes. I have a few songs on Soundcloud.com. I’m not sure what is up there, but I believe Swallowed By The Sun is definitely. You can find some of my other songs there too if you search for “Everyone Loves Mahoney” and “Rick Pipito” (for my solo stuff). As for the lyrics, I’ve been wanting to do a poetry book with all my song lyrics and poems at some point, so I should probably get on that sooner rather than later.
Q: How did you come up with the title for this book?
Rick: Originally it was called “Continuum: The Fight For Humanity,” but then there was a Continuum tv show and I wanted to avoid confusion, so I dropped that part. Then the election coverage started, and I thought “fight” was too negative. Everyone was fighting. I wanted a positive title. My wife suggested I keep with the food theme that I’ve used for the whole Eternal Hunger Saga so far. After a few days of pondering I decided on “A Course For Humanity.” It’s sort of a double entendre. Course meaning food and direction.
Q: You said this was the final trilogy in your saga. What is your next book with these characters?
Rick: It’ll be interesting to say the least. My next book will go very dark. Francis Murphy (the leech) is going to find that he can’t fight his curse any longer. It is beginning to completely take him over. My original idea was to have a sequel involving the first vampire Cain. That idea ended up becoming something else in “Blood, The Second Helping.” I constantly get compliments on how great of a villain Cain was in that book. I figured since time travel was involved, that I could actually take that original idea and work it somehow. It’s no way near what it was in concept, but the plot is still the same. Murphy will be trying to figure out a way to eliminate Cain in the past, so that he can be rid of his own curse.
Q: Cain is coming back? How will this affect your continuity?
Rick: This will be Cain unlike you’ve seen him before (except in limited spurts). Cain will be a very violent and vicious creature in this book. It won’t involve any events that have occurred in my other books, but it will certainly feel like it fits. At the end of the day the result of tampering with time will be evident. There will be one last chapter (novel) afterwards to explain the aftermath if Murphy or Cain survive (or perish).
Q: Then your whole saga will be complete. What does that mean for the future (pun intended) of your novels? Where does Rick Pipito go from there?
Rick: Book 3 in this trilogy will wrap things up and leave the reader in a place where they will be questioning whether the series will happen as it has, or if the timeline will be replaced by our current (real world) reality. I’ve got nine novels planned out that won’t have anything to do with this series. Some are trilogies, others are stand alone. To anyone who has followed all along, they could have thoughts that say “Hey, this is our world now,” but before it was changed it was something else. One of my books will be a supernatural thriller about alzheimers patients, that will explain what they go through, and maybe they aren’t as all gone as we initially think. In other words everything I create is in the universe of my mind. I want to keep it that way. This is just an easy way to do it by creating a secondary universe and separating myself from what’s been done to an extent.
Q: You were just labeled as “Most versatile Local author” in the latest issue of Philly Current Magazine. What’s it like to have such recognition?
Rick: I’ve been in the top 25 and 100 lists of authors before, so it’s always exciting and flattering. I will never consider myself perfect. I’ve still much to learn. I think even the most veteran of writers does. Anyone who claims they are the best, will no longer put out better work because of their ego. It’ll become stale and unexciting. Being called “Most versatile local author” is a very flattering sentiment. I’ll take it. haha. I love knowing that my work has an impact on others in a good way, and having my name spread out there in such a great magazine is definitely a high point. You can get a copy of this issue by the way at http://www.phillycurrent.com (it’s the #pcpicks2017 issue).
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d be awarded or recognition you’d like to receive?
Rick: I think it’d be really cool to be interviewed with my wife. We both are constantly getting inquiries on how we are able to juggle being parents, and hitting all of our fantastic goals. It’d make for a really fun read or interview, and I really enjoy working with her. We are a great team. She tells me when my stories are hit or miss, and I do the same with her food. To me we are the ultimate team.
Q: Where can we get a copy of A COURSE FOR HUMANITY?
Rick: It’s available on Amazon in digital form, and on http://www.lulu.com in print. Also, my Beyond Human Trilogy will be in Barnes and Nobles soon, so be sure to check out that and my other works.
This entry was posted on March 13, 2017 by scryptcomics. It was filed under Interviews and Press, Uncategorized and was tagged with A Course For Humanity, Author, Eternal Hunger Saga, interview, Rick Pipito.