Russell Berg - An Imaginative Trek Through a Dangerous, Otherworldly Wonderland
Russ Berg lives in Phoenix, Arizona where he devotes a lot of time researching and collecting minerals. He has more than 12 years of college, and Is an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy. Years prior, he woke one night after experiencing a strange dream. He was in the Chiricahua Mountains in Southern Arizona when he chanced upon a cluster of curious-looking rocks positioned on an odd-shaped pedestal. They began to spin, causing a cave to materialize. Once inside, he became trapped! Primed with an active imagination, he took his dream and turned it into a novel. As our Author of the Day, Berg tells us all about his book, Enif.
Please give us a short introduction to what Enif is about.
Enif is a story about Jerry Humphreys, a struggling geologist, who embarks on a dangerous journey through seven underground worlds, each a clash with strange creatures, traps, and riddles--from the bizarre to the odious. Chamber by chamber, he meets all kinds of creatures that either help him or try to defeat him on his journey. He meets Andromeda, a beautiful woman who taints his water with a powerful amnesiac that makes him forget all about his college-sweetheart-turned-fiancée Mandy Miller. If Jerry is to survive, he must forge a path to the portal and the seventh chamber that will transport him to the star Enif. At the portal, the most vicious creature of all, Totenkop, captures him. Can Jerry overcome his doubts and vanquish the onslaught of macabre creatures? Will he ever see his forgotten love, Mandy?
What inspired you to write about someone who discovers a hidden cave in the Chiricahua Mountains?
The genesis of Enif started after experiencing a strange dream. I was in the Chiricahua Mountains in Southern Arizona when I chanced upon a cluster of curious-looking rocks positioned on an odd-shaped pedestal. They began to spin, causing a cave to materialize. Once inside, I became trapped! Primed with an active imagination, I took my dream and turned it into a novel.
You devote a lot of time researching and collecting minerals. How has that influenced your writing?
I have studied and collected minerals for years, which created a perfect fit for my book. Each mineral has different metaphysical properties that I used to embellish Jerry’s abilities as he journeyed through the subterranean worlds.
Tell us more about Jerry Humphreys. What makes him tick?
Jerry lost his father at a very young age. His mother never remarried, which made it difficult to make ends meet. He blamed himself for her death later on and vowed he would never be poor again. His fiancée grew up in Southern California and was accustomed to living in an affluent neighborhood. Inside Jerry, felt the need to continue to support her in that lifestyle, but always doubted himself.
Why did you decide to add Andromeda to the mix?
To create more tension and conflict, Andromeda set the scene to steal Mandy from Jerry.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I have more than 12 years of college behind me in sports medicine and rehab, and in the past few years, I’ve learned how to speak the Swedish language. Currently, I am writing a sequel to Enif, but I have also written a song and am in the process of setting it to music.
Readers describe this book as intense and hard to put down. How did you pull this off?
I love to read, but I get bored if the book is slow. So, when I decided to write this book, I wanted it to be fast paced, filled with action. Basically, I let my imagination take over.
Say this ever gets turned into a movie, which actor would you like to play Jerry?
Not sure about this becoming a movie. I would have to think about that.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I read both eBooks and paperback books. If I think I may really like a book, I buy paperback.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I wrote articles for my website for years and after the first year, I was able to get it ranked on the first page. Later on, it became a challenge to see if I could get my page ranking higher. You might say that writing the content for my website prepared me for my book.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
The only famous person that comes to my mind is George Washington. I love history and would love to tap into his mind.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Most of my writing occurs at night. It is as if a switch goes on, opening my mind to the portal of the universe, allowing me to soak up its creations.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a sequel to Enif.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Readers can reach me on Instagram, Facebook or my website: enifadventure.com.