I’ve had some amazing questions sent to me over the course of the past two months. Here’s a compilation of them in interview form. Feel free to ask your own, and I’ll answer. Thanks again for all of the love.
Q: What makes “Devoured Universe” differ from “Planet ATE”?
Rick: Planet ATE was a stepping stone into full blown sci-fi. While both involve space and aliens, ATE was about protecting humanity and Earth. Devoured takes it a step further and puts the existence of everything in the universe at risk.
Q: Your books are grounded in reality in a way that makes them believable. How did you maintain that feeling with Devoured Universe?
Rick: There was only so much I could do considering the vastness of the story, but I looked into a lot of NASA information and files on different things out in space. Some hypothetical theories served as the root for explanations of what was going on, so while it is a mostly science fiction tale, it can be perceived as believable.
Q: After reading your other novels, I found this to be a good stand alone, but it also wraps up a legacy (as mentioned in the book). What made you decide to write out a certain character?
Rick: Without going into too much detail I can say it was time, but I feel as though I’ve lost a great friend. My characters age in my stories, so I didn’t feel it necessary to continue on because that takes away from some of the grounded aspect you mentioned. But I knew this had to happen in a way that respected the character and what he/she stood for. It ends a long adventure, but leaves behind a legacy for my final trilogy.
Q: So does this mean the character could come back?
Rick: No and yes. I can say without a doubt that this character is in fact dead. There will be no resurrection or clone. The presence will still be felt however, as the new characters introduced will see this person as a historical figure and know the legacy left behind by their predecessor.
Q: Will the next book pick up right after this one?
Rick: No. I wanted to put a few hundred years’ gap between books. That way it can stand on its own as the others all have, but still be connected to the saga.
Q: Obviously this means you will be staying in the science fiction genre?
Rick: Like the other books it will be a stepping stone. If you read Devoured Universe, then you know what is hinted at as far as where it will all go. So even though it starts out in the future there will be a way to tie it into the past, and pave way for new stories.
Q: A reboot of your own novels?
Rick: Not really. More like an expansion.
Q: With your Eden’s Order Trilogy your main antagonist was Cain. For Pandora’s Chaos Trilogy you had the Network Entity. It seems that the world governments are your antagonist for this trilogy. Who or what is the threat for your next three?
Rick: I’m glad you saw politicians as the underlying evil in this (Beyond Human Trilogy). The next trilogy will be a little less obvious as we will be dealing with many different settings and periods on Earth. If I were to choose an antagonist per se, I guess I’d say humanity as a whole. It’s not that I think humans are all bad, but the main character in the next trilogy will be facing the bad sides of human nature. Even he himself will be struggling with his own morals.
Q: Is this character someone we already know or will he be new? And can you clarify the type of struggles he’ll face?
Rick: Let’s just say this will be less of a group adventure and more about this single person. You don’t know him yet, but he does have origins in the timeline of the current stories. So while he exists in this saga already, he really hasn’t been formally introduced.
Q: It sounds like you’ve had this planned out for a while. How many other works are on your slate?
Rick: Ha. I’ve countless ideas, but right now I’m currently brainstorming, writing, and outlining a few. While I’m prepping to step into the new trilogy, I’m writing the spinoff stories for this one. I’m also hard at work with my brother on finishing my second children’s book, and writing a third. Then there is also a murder mystery trilogy I’m working on with my wife. This doesn’t include the countless notes I keep adding to the other ideas I’ve got for future releases.
Q: You have a web series called “Think, Sip, Write.” In one episode you talk about eternal youth. If you could live forever would you continue to write or would you delve into other areas?
Rick: I would love to live forever; as long as I could fully function. Yes, I’d continue to write because right now I can’t see how I’d be able to publish all of the ideas I have. It’d be a waste not to. But like my everyday life I’d also continue to do other things. My music is always in the back of my mind, as well as my web series and sCrypt Publishing.
Q: Is there anything you want readers to know? Announcements or teases perhaps?
Rick: I’ve decided to try something new. I’m doing a #Scrypthalloween for the whole month of October. Details are being worked on, but I plan to have them up within the next few days. Basically everyone can get involved. On my end of it I’ll be posting a few quick read releases, as well as some giveaways and other fun things. It’ll be a lot of fun, and the more involved the merrier.
Q: Where can someone get a copy of your books?
Rick: As always, digital copies of my books are available on Amazon. Print copies are on Lulu.com. And you are always welcome to email me for an autographed copy.
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!