Describe your new book in 20 words or less: Invisible aliens from the 4th dimension are ruining human lives, especially Steve’s. What’s even worse? He’s one of them.
What inspires you to write? Usually it’s a little pestering voice in the deep of my brain that steps forward and shouts “You will write a novel!” I have little choice but to obey. As for inspiration, most of my love of writing comes from my youth, the thrill of emulating a spectacularly dazzling set piece I saw on some long forgotten movie or show on Saturday morning some 30-40 years ago. I had a great talent for getting hooked on TV shows that only aired for, like, 15 minutes in the 70s and 80s before getting canceled. A lot of what I write is inspired by those long-lost gems that deserved better than they got.
Where did the inspiration come from for Steven Kinder? Is he purely from your imagination or is he based on a real person? As someone said, most novels are autobiographical. So the secret is out…Steve is based on me. After you’ve read his long list of travails and misfortunes, the joke is each one has an element of truth from my own experiences (with some being truer than others). So as Steve tries to make sense of his own life, read between the lines and it’s also me trying to make sense of my own. The idea to write this book occurred when I was visiting my own local Emerald Oracle because Steve and myself had the same question: Why DO bad things happen to good people? We’ve all asked that at some point. Except in Steve’s case, the joke is that if you’ve ever thought the Universe was out to get you particularly, that might be because, well…it is.
You’ve introduced an interesting use of onomatopoeia in the novel. Tell us more about it and how it helps drive the story. Is this not a visual medium? That may not be obvious at first. At first we see a novel only as black and white words on a page, but authors have so many more tools just waiting to be used: Fonts, italics, bold, and yes, onomatopoeia. Each one is another trigger for the movie playing inside the reader’s head, another splotch of living color to bounce the scene around his mind’s eye. The voracious reader has “taste buds” he might not know he had, I want to find them all.
If we’re only allotted 100,000 words per novel, we have to make each one count. Especially in a novel told from the first person perspective. The best way to get into a reader’s head is to help them get inside the protagonist’s head, and the protagonist is in a very prickly, pokey, painful world.
How did you come up with your concept of reincarnation for the novel? I suppose it just seemed the logical way such a thing would happen. Unlike the conceptions of the 4th dimension and the numerous aliens therein, which went through a lot of revisions, the reincarnation bit popped out fully formed. My primary goal was to aim in a different direction. There are already numerous reincarnation novels on the shelves, but they are usually century-spanning affairs following the hero in life after life.
I wanted to concentrate on only a single life of an individual, the last life. Steven Kinder really doesn’t know anything about reincarnation and is actively resisting it. He can’t worry about what’s happened before because it’s all he can do to survive the life he’s currently in. The underlying gimmick is that we, the reader, know this is Steve’s last reincarnation. This is the last life Steve will spend as a human before he moves to…whatever. He obviously doesn’t know that, but it’s our little secret that will become more poignant as the series moves along.
What’s next in the series for Steven Kinder? Steve’s universe keeps getting bigger. Whereas there’s an entire cosmos of abusive aliens drawing their plans against helpless humans, there’s also the infinite 4th dimensional space within the Earth itself. The extra-dimensional monsters hiding in those dark layers are just as greedy as any alien, and have had their own fingers (or tentacles, as it were) in human land for a long time. Each book in the series will further highlight humanity’s precarious position, of how we’re allotted only a single sliver of existence between predators above and monsters below.
The sequel in particular explores those extra-dimensional monsters. Only glimpsed in the first novel, they’ve been in their realm longer than humans have been in ours. When Steve is forced into a confrontation with their agents (humans with black auras), he learns far more than he wants about how long humans have been a prey species, how long he’s been reincarnating as a human in the first place…and why.
Read an excerpt of The Last Reincarnation of Steven Kinder
About the book: Steven Kinder’s life seems to be one bad day after another. His apartment burns down…one day after moving in. A job is lost due to a computer glitch. College records are mysteriously frozen and he’s accused of cheating his way through his degree.
When paramilitary thugs bust down his door at two in the morning, suddenly he’s having the worst bad day ever. Hauled away in chains, he’s accused of being an illegal alien and thrown into a subzero coffin to linger in suspended animation forever.
But life turns from bad to bizarre when his rescue becomes even more bewildering than the kidnapping. Steven is about to discover that there are aliens everywhere—real intergalactic aliens hidden just out of human perception. And that the accidents destroying Steven’s life may not have been so accidental after all…
Now he’s on the run and really learning what being human is all about. Because the only thing more traumatic than learning alien souls are reincarnating on Earth would be learning he’s one of them.
Hardcover, 978-1-948540-61-2, $26.95, 412 pages
Trade Softcover, 978-1-64397-033-2, $16.95, 412 pages
Ebook, 978-1-64397-034-9, $7.99
About the author:
Bernard K. Finnigan is fascinated by Celtic lore and is the author of the fan favorite When Halloween Was Green. When not writing, he enjoys amateur filmmaking and building his own horror movie costumes. He resides in Idaho where he is known for rewarding trick or treaters with full-sized candy bars. He’s currently working on his next Steven Kinder novel.
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