Adair Hart - Drawn to Technology, Fantasy and Sci-Fi
Adair Hart has been dreaming about fictional worlds since he was a kid. He devoured anything related to fantasy and science fiction. He works in the information technology field and has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in it. According to Hart, this has helped him to shape some of the concepts he writes about. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his latest book, The Awakening.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Awakening is about.
The Awakening is about the alien abduction of Dr. Albert Snowden and his niece, Emily, and their rescue by a space-and-time-traveler known as Evaran. Accompanying Evaran is V, Evaran’s trustworthy and mobile artificial intelligence companion.
The story takes place on a disabled ship in another galaxy and one year in the future from the abduction. The ship had been collecting apex predators throughout space and time, and they are now loose on the ship. Add in a local opportunistic mercenary group, and Evaran and V have their hands full escorting Dr. Snowden, Emily, and two other humans back to Evaran's ship, the Torvatta. The first book also serves as a light dive into the Evaranverse cosmology.
What inspired you to write about people who end up in a virtual simulation?
As someone who works in software development, I’m fascinated by virtual simulations, and not just from a tech perspective. I've always imagined that in the future, virtual simulations will provide many benefits for humanity. It will allow for creative and innovative solutions which will take humanity to new heights.
Humanity isn’t there yet, but it’s fun to write about. In The Awakening, the aliens used it to study humanity. I explore a more comprehensive version of where I think a virtual simulation will be at in The Human Factor, book 7 of the Evaran Chronicles. In that one, the virtual simulation allows those spread across a galactic region to join together to provide unlimited opportunities.
Tell us more about Albert Snowden. What makes him tick?
Dr. Albert Snowden is passionate about learning, and science in particular. It's no surprise that he became a professor and he beams with pride in being called Dr. Snowden as opposed to Albert. Although he usually seeks to get along with others, he has a short temper. This can flare from seeing an injustice, or from a casual conversation where the other person is not operating in good faith.
Although he always wanted a family, it never happened for him. Between his job and his older brother dying, and then having to care for Emily to help her finish college, there was not a lot of free time. He has come to terms with that, and fiercely supports Emily in any way he can. Although he knows he can never replace her father, he will always make time for her and can be overprotective at times.
Your series explores time, space, parallel worlds, what-if scenarios and other places. Why do you take this approach?
I believe this opens up a lot of potential story-telling ideas. I've had this series in mind since I was in college over two decades ago, but it wasn't until the last decade that I began to flesh it out.
I started by designing the cosmology and defining all the components of it. Having that defined makes it much easier to write stories in. I highly value being logically consistent across the series. What you learn in the first book still applies in the latest book. Evaran and crew will explore all those places.
Below are the cosmological components covered per book:
⦁ Book 1: The Awakening - Space rifts
⦁ Book 2: The Fredorian Destiny - Earth's position in the galactic region in modern day, closed time loop
⦁ Book 3: The Purification - Dimensions, time dilation, and travel to the past
⦁ Book 4: The Time Refugee - Impact of altering a timeline multiple times, and time refugees
⦁ Book 5: The Evaran Origin - parallel universes, Evaranverse full cosmology overview
⦁ Book 6: The Shadow Connection - Nonhuman world on Modern day Earth
⦁ Book 7: The Human Factor - Rift eddies, Human impact when placed in a region they are not supposed to be.
⦁ Book 8: The Cosmic Parallel - Parallel timelines
⦁ Book 9: The Unification - Subverses
You have lived all over the world. How did this influence your world view and your writing?
It opened my mind to different cultures and value systems growing up. I've always been fascinated at how rituals and everyday life varies by culture. This is reflected in Dr. Snowden and Emily's musing on the aliens they meet. Something as simple as a handshake to them is viewed as a challenge to fight to the death in other alien cultures.
Another aspect is time. That was something that always had to factored in when calling relatives back in the US, and had a large impact when writing about space since not everything sticks to Earth time!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Game development is one of my passions. I still want to make a computer role-playing game (CRPG), and have worked on one in the past. Another passion which I do from time to time is digital cartography. That meshed in well when I tried making a game since I needed to have a map!
How is your story different from your standard Alien abduction story?
There are several tropes surrounding alien abduction ranging from people dealing with the aftermath to being a part of an invasion. I wanted to focus more on the alien ship, its technology, and why they’re abducting. As it is told from a human perspective, it gives an opportunity to explore that aspect.
The abducted humans just want to go home, but that doesn’t stop Dr. Snowden from taking in everything he’s seeing and trying to figure it all out. There are stories where the humans fight it out against strong enemies or are able to evade advanced technology somehow, but those humans are usually trained in combat in some capacity or the aliens don’t use their technology efficiently.
In The Awakening, it’s a professor, two college students, and a truck driver against everything. That’s where Evaran and V come in to help even the odds.
Readers compare Evaran to Dr. Who, saying that they share certain characteristics. Was he an inspiration?
The Doctor was one inspiration of many. Evaran was also inspired by Batman and Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I started really looking at Dr. Who when the series started back up in 2005. I went back and watched all the classic who episodes after that. I asked myself as I watched each episode: What would Evaran do? With Evaran's tech approach, he would do many things different than the Doctor.
While The Evaran Chronicles shares a similar high level premise with Dr. Who, the execution is very different. Evaran and the Doctor share the trait of wanting to avoid violence if possible, but Evaran is more action and tech-oriented in regards to solutions. In regards to age and personality, Evaran is ancient and emotionless for the most part, whereas the Doctor is much younger and emotional.
Does Evaran believe that Time, not space, is the final frontier? Tell us more about this.
Evaran believes that multiple levels of reality are the final frontier for humanity. In that regard, Evaran is a guide and also maintains timeline integrity so that humanity can be free to pursue their exploration. From his perspective, time is part of a coordinate system in a timeline. The Evaranverse cosmology has a lot of pieces to it, and he believes that humanity will expand beyond their timeline at some point.
How much did it take from you to make the tech feel believable?
Quite a bit. In my day job, I work with technology, mostly databases, networks, and code. That is weaved throughout the series, and some of the terminology is used as well. I also try to keep up with the latest in science and also futurology. The science and tech in The Evaran Chronicles is extrapolated from where it is today, and where I think it will be in the future.
Tell us more about your predators - what makes them so scary?
They are apex predators from the worlds they come from, so they are not used to being challenged, caged, or tortured. Now that the predators are free and roaming the ship, they will attack any food source that presents itself. They come in all shapes and sizes, and will use the evolutionary advantage that made them apex predators. I like horror, and that sense of dread, so there is definitely a bit of that in The Awakening.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Favorite time of day to write, writing spot, things that inspire you etc.?
Before I begin writing for a day, I'll pace around while going through the scene or chapter in my head. After that, I sit and write it out with music appropriate to the scene. Usually it's a sci-fi epic mix or if writing my vampire space opera series, something a bit faster and harder. My favorite time of day to write is early morning after a cup of coffee!
What are you working on right now?
I'm currently wrapping up the first draft of The Unification, book 9 of the Evaran Chronicles. Evaran and crew travel to AD 514,723 to deal with an event. In the Earthborn, a standalone spinoff vampire space opera series from the Evaran Chronicles, I'm preparing to launch Rimworlds, book 3 of the Earthborn, by the end of the month.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I do post to my author page on Facebook at least once every two or three days. It's at: www.facebook.com/AdairHart
If anyone wants to email me, my email is: [email protected].
Is there an audiobook for The Awakening?
Yes. The Awakening is available in digital, paperback, and audiobook formats. Every other book in the Evaran Chronicles is the same. I am committed to doing a paperback and audiobook for every book in the series going forward as well.