Human Trial II: Adam’s War is the second part of my Human Trial trilogy. While part one explored the dynamics of survival and tribalism, part two centers man being his own worst enemy, while having to deal with an unseen enemy—aliens who in the first book hijacked earth’s climate to test the limits of human endurance.
The scattershot group of survivors from the first book, led by Daron and Regina Turner, cross the country to become part of a larger burgeoning society known as The New Frontier. Along they way, they encounter more battles with marauders and wild animals, and also have to deal with the mental disintegration of one of their members.
They arrive in Big Springs, Nebraska. Where they encounter a traitorous leader, J.D. Cooks, who clandestinely collaborates with aliens to create a human-alien hybrid race. Over the years Daron and Cooks engage in an epic battle of wits.
Meanwhile, Daron and Regina’s son Adam—born via unusual manner (revealed in the first book)—has grown into adulthood and is a student of military history and strategy. He leads a coup that results in the destruction of Big Springs and a neighboring colony that has been infiltrated by hybrids. However, the war is just beginning as Daron leads a small group of soldiers in a fight against an alien base in New Mexico, and Adam leads a ragtag army into the mountains of Ascencion, Mexico. There the final battle for mankind’s survival takes place
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in Nebraska, but have lived in northern California for more than forty years. I began writing seriously since 2000, while going through some severe changes in my life. This came about after a ten-year hiatus from writing. I have always tinkered with words, however. As a child I loved writing humorous poems and song parodies, and even today my first love is social and political satire. In fact, I call my work a cross between Richard Wright and Richard Pryor. Of course, the Human Trial trilogy leads people to think I’m strictly sci-fi.
What inspired you to write this book?
I always wanted to write a classic tale of good versus evil, and after penning part one, it was recommended to me by the author T.C. Matthews that I consider making the book a trilogy. Second, Human Trial received strong reviews and was even nominated by SORMag (Shades Of Romance Magazine) as its Fiction Book of the Year. Readers became familiar with the characters and some say they even cried while reading several parts of it.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
I have a romantic notion of being published the old-fashioned way or not at all. I did not want to pay to self-publish or sell my manuscript solely as an e-book. All Things That Matters Press was recommended by another writer, the award-winning E. Joyce Moore.
One of the questions posed by this trilogy is whether or not man is capable of saving himself from destruction; not so much by technological means, but in a survivalist state. Are we capable of putting aside our fears, prejudices and greed to do what is best for the survival of all? The book has a little bit of everything—sci-fi elements, action, romance, and a smidgen of humor thrown in for good measure.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Learning the craft, and by that I mean the minutia of it. You have to understand the mechanics of how a story flows—pacing is important. The protagonist should make the reader wonder, What would I do in such a situation? Getting the reader to suspend their disbelief and become emotionally involved means setting your ego aside and rewriting. Over a three-year span, the first part of Human Trial went through four rewrites.
How do you do research for your books?
I knew I had to be thorough, so I relied on the assistance of a fellow sci-fi writer for some of the technical details. But HT is not sci-fi driven. As I mentioned, it focuses more on group dynamics. One thing I remembered from the first part of the trilogy was the research I had to do coming up with a plausible method of how a flotilla of alien ships could alter the climate of the entire earth. I learned that the ships would have to be positioned in low-polar orbit, when in the first draft I had them hundreds of miles above the earth. Furthermore, I had to walk a fine line between explaining to the point of tedium and making the science in the scene believable.
What was your favorite scene from the book?
There are two scenes I think that set the tone for the book. The first is when Daron, Regina ane their cohorts arrive in Big Springs and are introduced to the ruling council. The tension builds as Daron and J.D. Cooks engage in their first verbal tête-à-tête.
The second is a scene where after months of battling aliens and traveling cross-country under harsh conditions, Regina and Daron make love. Not only does the reader get a sense of their feelings for one another, but that these feelings will help them persevere through the dangers that are lurking.
What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers would understand?
The amount of work that goes into it, and that when a person loves to write, it is never “a waste oif time.” How can creativity be a waste of time? There is a lot of struggle and learning that goes into writing, no different from learning how to play basketball or repair an automobile.
What are you reading now?
Just finished Ken Weene’s Widow’s Walk, and even though I don’t usually read romance novels, I am reading Vanessa Johnson’s enthralling tale of young love, Sacrifices In The Name Of Love.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I only read 10-12 books a year, mostly on writing or non-fiction. I spend the vast majority of my time working on novels, screenplays, short stories and essays. My favorite writers are an eclectic lot: Rene Guy De Maupassant, Richard Wright, Donald Goines, Stephen King and Tzynya Pinchback.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am slowly crafting the first draft of Human Trial Three: The Fight For Freedom. As America rebuilds, starting with its new dual capitals—New York City and Reno, Nevada—Adam Turner is content to enjoy the quiet in his birthplace of Lake Consuela, California. After the loss of his parents, Adam’s concern is centered on lovomg quietly with his sister (Sara), his “aunt” Imani, and new arrivals, the Barkers.
It isn’t long, however, before his country comes calling, in the form of de facto President Thaddeus Lord, who asks Adam to head the fledgling U.S. military. Adam is reluctant until he is challenged by another military strategist, the alluring Tawanna Chenier, who has come to Lake Consuela to personally recruit Adam.
Adam discovers there are other alien enclaves, but is torn between allowing them to live under government surveillance or ridding the world of the visitors for good. However, he and Tawanna later discover that a South American dictator who is hell-bent on not only maintaining hybrid slavery in his country, but being the first to develop a weapon of mass destruction. Now the two must lead inexperienced soldiers into some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain in what shapes up to be earth’s final struggle for survival
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
Doing online radio and print interviews, and I am also touching bases with several newspapers, college libraries and bookstores and sending out press kits. Later this summer I will be addressing several book clubs and library groups.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I am always responsive to e-mails, so one can reach me at: email@example.com. You can also check out my blog, stellyhumantrial.com.
For a chance to win a free copy of HUMAN TRIAL 2: ADAM’S WAR , e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org