July's Featured Author: David Lynn Golemon
Interview by Daniel S Boucher
David Lynn Golemon
David was born and raised in Chino, California. He came from a family steeped in military history, from the Civil War through to Vietnam. He has raised three great children, Shaune, Brandon and Katie Anne. After spending many years in Loveland, Colorado, he now makes his home on Long Island, New York.
Your family has a rich history in the Military, ranging from the Civil War to Vietnam. Other than the obvious with Event Group, how has this influenced your writing?
My family’s military experiences and remembrances, always had one common and recurring element that a lot of ‘war stories’ fail to have---they seemed to resonate with everyone always wanting to be somewhere else. When you write about military matters, you cannot seem to be writing to glorify the aspect and results of war---I want to convey the ‘must’, the sometimes inevitable reasons for it. To humanize the people who never start, but are always there to finish. The Event Group is written along those lines, never to glorify, but to acknowledge that when force is to be used, it is to be used as a LAST measure. I never try to put soldiers of any nation into a storyline to use as a mere backdrop, or cannon fodder if you will, but try desperately to make them a viable and reasonable part of the story. So, if you say the military has influenced my writing, yes, it has made me far more human.
When/what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?
In reality I have wanted to write since the age of nine. Even when reading history books I would want to change the outcome of the stories I read there---some of them just weren’t to my liking---so as an exercise when I was a boy, I would put history into the proper prospective for a kid of my age, I would change history and write about it. I always had a much happier ending than most of the real life tragedies depicted in actual human and world history. Alas, growing up (a foul word indeed) you find that no matter how you try to justify it, history is there for a reason---it is a part of us, it makes us who we are, and since I couldn’t change it, I would live with it, and just write about alternatives to the narrative of real life---thus the prologues in my novels----so in answer, most of my life have I wanted to write, because in most cases, the reality of who we are sometimes sucks big time.
What would you say has been the most difficult challenge?
By far the most difficult challenge since I have started writing full time, is to slow down, take it slow, no matter many stories you have about the subject at hand, your publisher (in their infinite wisdom) will only put out as much material as the market can bear. So, the challenge is to pick your story in advance, take your time writing it and be patient. The stories of the Event Group, well to put it simply, almost write themselves, so in that aspect that isn’t much of a challenge. There is however a difficult task that compels a writer to keep it as realistic as possible, and that means killing off characters that readers have come to like and respect, the challenge here is to let your readers know that real life intrudes upon even the fictional world of hero’s. That is a challenge, to keep from killing off too many, and sometimes when not to at all.
What was your inspiration behind Event Group and what made you choose the subject behind the first novel in the series: Event?
Believe it or not, there is a little known rumor in the United States military which says the Army and Air Force has many, many artifacts of historical value hidden away in many locations throughout the country. After all, who has covered most of the globe, and basically been in charge everywhere they end up during conflicts of a world nature, the US Military---their secrets would more than likely astound even the most ardent skeptic. Even the director Steven Spielberg touched on the storing of valuable historical documents and artifacts in the very first Indiana Jones—Raiders of the Lost Ark, at the very end of the movie, the storage of the Ark in the old warehouse, that to me has never been a farfetched ending.
As for choosing the first Event Group story---that was the easiest one of all---you take a story or tale that most everyone has heard about, have them believe they had heard all there was to say on the subject, then write it your way. Throw in a curve when they thought they had it all figured out, and there you have it---I chose Roswell because even I had grown tired of the conspiracy theory, so I thought, well, I’ll just make it a bigger theory, thus---Event.
Have you ever had any “Event” type experiences of your own?
I’m afraid I only write about the fantastic, I have never experienced it. I try to live through my characters and want them to react to a situation the way I think I would have, not of disbelief, but of wonder and awe---I only wish I could experience what others claim, I just haven’t.
For instance Roswell is a perfect example---I will give everyone who reads this something to think on. The Incident in that sleepy little area is the only account that this writer actually believes has a basis in truth, no matter what sort of denials the military gives us in bogus official reports. I don’t believe in most of the fantastic ‘eyewitness’ accounts out there about the other scrapes with aliens or otherworldly craft---however, the Roswell Event is different. In 1947, the United States Army Air Corp, based in Roswell air base in New Mexico, a base that was home to the most famous bombing group in world history, the 509th composite group. Yes, they used to have a plane---a B-29 called Enola Gay on their roles. This group was the only active air base in the world that had actual strategic nuclear weapons housed at the complex. Now, after the mysterious crash on that night long ago, the base intelligence officer and public relations officer, both after having seen the wreckage of this craft, and with the base commanders permission, release a statement that they had captured a flying saucer. Now a few hours later, after telegrams and phone calls started flying, they recanted and said it was a weather balloon. Okay, we’ll buy that one. Now here is the crutch of the whole thing that the Air Force never once touched on in all of their denials and reports, even unto the latest---how in the hell does a base intelligence officer, a man charged with the security of the only nuclear arsenal in the world, confuse a weather balloon for anything other than what it was? A base INTELLIGENCE specialist---a United States Army Air Corp professional---A man, who if they were indeed running balloon experiments to keep an eye on the Soviet’s nuclear program, gave out a press release that a flying saucer was in their hands. I think President Truman may have gotten a little miffed if he had incompetents like that in charge of base intelligence, don’t you? No, I wish I had had an Event experience, but sadly, I have to live with writing about them. After all, if you knew some of the upper echelons of the American military and the way they justify things, Roswell wouldn’t surprise you one bit.
Out of the Event Group series, which is your favorite and why?
Without a doubt----I have no favorite. I have enjoyed writing each one of them. But if you pin me down, which you obviously want to since the question was asked, I would have to say Leviathan. The elements of historical literature, coupled with the challenge of the research involved for modern undersea warfare, it was a blast, but one that is really closest to my heart believe it or not, is Legend. That story reminded me of my childhood and all of the old B-Movies I crammed into my brain in front of the old black and white Motorola---but really, I love them all and lived every one of them in my head.
Your latest novel Leviathan is set for an August release, what can you tell us about it?
Leviathan is a story that takes place in the past---that is what is at the heart of the tale. The weaving of stories most people have read about, or at the very least seen the movies. I try and combine several tales that most thought they knew, and then twist it into the tale of Leviathan, a story of the most advanced undersea craft in the history of the world. It is more of a cautionary tale about where we, as a civilization is heading in regards of how we treat our planet, what we are doing to the environment is a crime against not only mankind, but species we may not even know exist. Is it a preachy novel---by no means no, I think my readers are on this side of intelligent, they need not be preached to about subjects right in front of their faces.
It is however a story that is geared to show how desperate we are and the issues of what to give up to save the planet---in the long run, we know this cannot be stopped in the short term, but we cannot cut off our noses to spite our superpower faces either. We are trapped, and the story of Leviathan is there to serve as a conversation piece, one that will maybe make people start to think about not only what they can do, but what we all can achieve if we put our minds to it. However, after this, I promise, no more dire warnings!
Do you have any plans to write outside of the Event Group series?
As a matter of fact, I have another two series in development. They are far from the storylines of the Event Group, which incidentally will go on forever as long as folks want them, but they are stories about the supernatural and another about a hunter of sorts. They are geared to scare, and I know they will, because of how many times I have to turn around in my chair when writing them (it’s usually my little dog Gary sneaking up on me in the darkness) But yes, I plan on staying busy and hopefully you’ll see the new series soon at your local bookstore.
Who are some of your favorite authors, and how have they influenced your writing style?
Easy, Clive Cussler of course, Stephen King, (a must for American authors who want to learn about characterization), Edgar Rice Burroughs (what an imagination!) Larry Bond and Tom Clancy and finally Richard Adams. All of the above named authors have one thing in common, and that is pacing, pacing and even more pacing. Make it exciting, bring the reader down for a moment, then excite them again---pacing. Now Richard Adams---if you can make the most exciting adventure story that is just about rabbits moving two miles away from their home to find another---that tells me you’re the best---hands down---the best!
You recently signed a three-book deal with St. Martins Press. How was that and was the deal for more novels in the Event Group series?
Yes, I have now signed for a total of seven Event Group novels, (a total of three contracts), because I figure that is a good round number to kick off the series. That means that I am going to sign other deals if the people still want to read about them, I have at least thirty-five up to date outlines for the continuing adventures of the Event Group.
We ask this of all our interviewees, what advice for new aspiring writers do you have? Is there anything that can help give an edge in this crazy economy?
Be tenacious if you believe in what you have written. Write something as unique as possible. Know what you write, it makes things a lot easier. Don’t let anybody tell you ‘why, that’s a ridiculous dream,’ and for heaven’s sake, tell everyone you know to read anything they can, we have a quest here, and that is to save the written word from going as extinct as the dinosaur. Economies don’t scare me, books, at least relatively speaking, are cheap and they hold vast treasure chest of wonder for people who like to envision their own special effects in their heads. For the writer in everyone, don’t be afraid to put it down on paper, because odds are, if you like it, others will also, and we always need good stories---tenacity!
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
The immediacy of a dream I have---it is to write a six hundred page novel (yes, it is outlined at least 670 pages!) about the very first Event---the Abraham Lincoln raid on Ararat I believe this would be the most exciting novel in the tales of the Event Group to date. The action would be unparalleled and the history leveled at the reader would make them want to delve into things like the Civil War, the Ottoman and British Empires. The story of a fight between brothers, who in the end become brothers in arms for a common cause. A tale about a shot of healing a nation through the sheer tenacity of being an American. That is what the Raid would be about. That is what I want outside of writing books that people will enjoy. I hope that’s not asking too much. Until we meet again, thank you for listening to my ramblings, and I hope to see you in a place where bad people are chasing us, and a miracle happens to save not only us, but the world---because we deserve it!