1. Tell us about yourself.
I graduated from the film production program at California State University, Northridge where screenwriting was part of the required curriculum, so screenwriting is how I first delved into the art of writing. BUZZism: Beyond was actually completed first as a screenplay before it was completed as a novel.
While attending Cal State Northridge I was living on campus during the 1994 earthquake while sixteen people died in an apartment complex just off campus less than a mile from where I was. Being in the epicenter of a major earthquake and surviving it was the most harrowing experience of my life. I actually ended up editing a student documentary film about life on campus after the earthquake called After the Shocks.
I eventually became a public relations/marketing executive in Los Angeles in the entertainment industry before moving to Virginia Beach.
2. Give a brief description of your book, BUZZism: Beyond.
The main character, John Doe, has amnesia so he can’t remember his true identity. He invented a machine that can time travel via the internet. The amnesia is a side-effect of internet time travel. He must use his invention to try and regain his memory and identity while being hunted down by an assassin for being the inventor of internet time travel.
I guess I would call it a psychological sci-fi thriller.
3. Why did you write BUZZism: Beyond?
As I mentioned before, Beyond was a script first. I decided to go ahead and write the novel version in the event that if the novel made any headway, it would pave the way for the screenplay to be produced.
4. BUZZism: Beyond has a character who specializes in experimental psychology. What about that specialty interests you?
I don’t know if brainwave entrainment is used in actual experimental psychology but brainwave entrainment is employed as a therapy for John Doe as part of the plot. I picked up on brainwave entrainment in my own life and have incorporated it on a daily basis as a writing tool to help me concentrate and help me along with the creative and problem–solving process.
5. Is this book part of a series?
BUZZism: Beyond is definitely part of a series as Beyond barely scratches the surface in terms of the overall story arc. Beyond is actually the second installment with BUZZism: Sands of Winter being the first installment which is currently completed as a screenplay with an adaptation to novel hopefully in the works soon. As mentioned before, Beyond itself is also a completed screenplay. The third installment, BUZZism: Apocalypse, is nearing completion as a screenplay while BUZZism: Artifiction, the fourth and final installment, is underway as a screenplay.
6. The writing style of BUZZism: Beyond is so expressive. Can you tell us about your methods?
I have a very sarcastic sense of humor, which is reflected every once–in–a–while in Beyond, especially in the dialogue when the dialogue manifests itself as puns and other forms of wordplay.
7. The settings of BUZZism: Beyond add much to the texture of the story. Can you tell us about why you chose those locations for the story setting?
I chose locations where I’ve either lived or visited. Los Angeles and Virginia Beach, places where I’ve lived extensively, are featured prominently in Beyond and throughout the entire BUZZism series concept. Las Vegas, where I’ve visited a few times, is featured throughout Beyond and the series concept. Architecture plays a big role, especially where pyramids are concerned, so buildings like The Westin in Virginia Beach that has a pyramid at the top, the Los Angeles Central Library that incorporates a pyramid as part of its design, and The Luxor in Las Vegas, where I’ve actually stayed, all figure prominently into the entire story arc.
8. The idea of alternate realities is strong in your book. What about that idea moved you?
Growing up in California, my parents at one time or another had converted our home(s) into assisted living facilities for either the elderly and/or mentally ill. When I moved to Virginia Beach, I volunteered much of my time at a psychosocial rehabilitation program. So, I’ve dealt a lot with people with Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia whose own realities have been altered tremendously by their conditions. Although alternate realities are not exactly the same as either memory loss or psychosis, it’s obvious that I’ve been heavily influenced in my writing by my exposure to mental illness where reality in and of itself comes into question in one form or another.
9. What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
Having completed the screenplay first, I had to come up with additional material in order to make the book novel length. Stretching a completed piece of work into something more was challenging, but what was even more challenging was trying to sync up an entire series, especially when two different formats are involved. Because of the nature of the series and one of its overriding themes of time travel, I had to make sure that anything I wrote was consistent with anything I had previously written or would write at a later point in time. The overall story arc is very complicated, so referencing some plot point that either already existed or would exist at some point later on in the creative process can be VERY challenging.
10. What drew you to this particular story?
One thing that I haven’t mentioned so far is the little-known field of Quantum Neurophysics. The idea that psychology and physics can somehow intertwine via concepts that are quantum in nature is remarkable to ponder. It’s one of the keys to trying to figure out the whole BUZZism series and whether internet time travel is actually possible. There may be a few other disciplines involved as well, such as Information Technology, but all-in-all I think we’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg.
11. What other books have inspired you?
Prior to proceeding with Beyond as a novel, I had read The Bourne Identity and The Lost Symbol. The general concepts of amnesia and symbology may have, to some degree, permeated into Beyond, but that is definitely where the similarities end. There may be one other similarity in as far as thrillers are concerned, which is that the pacing is about the same as both Ludlum’s and Brown’s works.
12. How did you come up with the title?
Beyond refers to reality… or more specifically… what might lie beyond reality as we know it.
13. What is your favorite passage in the book and why?
“And for the gentleman?” asked the bartender.
“I’m feeling… somewhat… adventurous,” said John Doe. “How about a Bloody Mary?”
Mary almost choked as she finished her gulp and began to laugh.
“That’s it?” asked Mary. “A Bloody Mary? Nothing else… period?”
(Favorite… because… it’s just wrong… but is in no way a reflection on the book as a whole)
14. What aspects of your own life helped inspire this book?
I think I would have to go back to the whole idea of being exposed to mental illness while growing up. And then, while experimenting with what I would call TRUE METHOD WRITING, I actually ended up in the psych ward on a couple of occasions… just like John Doe in the book… but that is an entire lecture to be explored on its own.
15. What can readers hope to learn from this book?
I hope they can learn… to question… their own realities.
Are you sure about YOUR reality?