Living with Internal Conflict

Author Interview
Rik Valuks Author Interview

Dead Earth Dreaming details a dystopian future rife with classism that tests the human spirit. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

As a teenager involved in the punk scene in the 80s, watching the public assets of Australia being privatised and sold off by the government to create a surplus despite the long term ramifications was outrageous, and we as citizens were powerless to do anything about it. By the 90s international globalism was on the rise along with entertainment technology to distract the masses, and before you knew it the general public was missing the bigger picture of the corruption that was going on around them. Ignorance is bliss, but standing outside of the box at that time made it obvious what was happening to the world.

I started writing Dead Earth Dreaming from page 1 without a plan, no step-sheet, and no idea where it would head. I still write like that because to me it flows and goes where it wants, making it exciting to sit down and write instead of a chore. I couldn’t get DED traditionally published at the time, but with some of the recent events happening now like Covid, the prospect of Moon mining, and the satellite technology dependence that is now used every day, I felt I had to get it out there even if just a few people read it.

Kelly is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind the characters development?

Kelly is an innocent, like a child still who has never had a chance to develop within himself. Everything in the outside world is new to him and yet he understands values and morals even though from an almost naive point of view.

His perspective is from an ancestral memory of his indigenous heritage that was introduced into his cloning by whatever means, and I guess it’s a reflection on the plight of the “Stolen Generation” of Australian Aboriginal people who were removed from their families for being “half-caste” never to see them again, as recently as the 1970s in this country. It’s a blight on this nation and an embarrassment for the Government still to this day. Some of those people are only now finding long lost family members.

But as well as the First Nation angle, Kelly earned his name from the great Australian Bushranger Ned Kelly who has a legendary status amongst Aussie battlers for being a Colonial anti-authoritarian figure. He fought his shootouts with the police wearing a steel armour suit fabricated by himself and his brothers, but ultimately died in a gunfight whence his last words were “Such is life”, now a common phrase used in Australia.

The other main character not so far mentioned is Junger, the Upside detective sent for his retrieval. Kelly and Junger are two sides of the same coin. Whereas Kelly has been incarcerated his whole life for thinking freely, Junger walked the line and lived as he should do, but felt discontent and resentment so he was never really free either. He did what he was told even if he felt it was wrong but was conditioned to never question authority, and so was constantly living with internal conflict.

The story explores many societal issues common today and taken to future extremes. What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

I think the theme of Anarchism used in the story is in retrospect probably a bit naive considering human nature can be such a savage beast, but I wanted to stay centrist and criticise all of the above, not just one side of partisan politics. You could say every social movement evolves and mutates, but unfortunately the eyes of business and profit are always watching too. Without getting involved in specifics, when a social movement becomes too political you have to question why and who is actually funding the agenda, and if it involves violence of any sort then it has crossed the line into urban terrorism.

In Dead Earth Dreaming I imagined people actually caring about each other’s welfare at a personal level rather than a political level, and striving together to beat the odds stacked against them as a community.

But in the end, I really just had a hell of a lot of fun writing it and I hope it’s fun to read, because that’s what it’s about, entertainment and a chance to escape for a few hours into another world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve completed a few stories over the years since this my first novel, but they were unfinished as novels and written into screenplay format as an effort to break into film. Although seemingly to my detriment, it did give me an improved perception on description by objective viewing rather than telling, but now I have the epic task of conversion into novel form.

Next book to work on is Alien~Gothic, in 2005 as a screenplay it was well received by several major LA agents but I was told it would be way too expensive to produce, especially for an unknown writer. It is a story that explores the origins of man, and the mythologies of early civilisations that seem to be linked by certain key factors of the Creators that came from the sky. It follows the story of an average man who finds a crystal skull grown in a single formation into the shape of an alien grey skull, and the Greys and Daemons that are trying to retrieve it from his possession.

Also in the back catalogue is Switch, a DID thriller; Cerise, a ghost horror; and The Runic Guide, a short guide to the use of the Futhark Runes which won the 2006 Writesafe Book of the Year with The Cloud Creek Institute For the Arts.

Finding the time to write while working a full time job heavy lifting at 53 is a challenge, as most of my time off is spent tinkering in the garage, drinking beer and napping.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

The moon’s orbit has been disturbed by corporate warfare, laying the Earth victim to massive king tides and fierce dry electrical storms. The elite have taken to the skies in gigantic flying cities, leaving the third class workers to survive on the ground with no support, striving to rebuild life on the planet’s surface.
This is the setting for Dead Earth Dreaming.
Above the waterline but underground are Breeding Colonies, used to create genetically engineered workers by the Upside authorities, pumping out obedient and thoughtless slaves for the system. Occasionally though, a worker will show signs of individualism, and for this they are placed in a rehabilitation institution.
C22108/3 was incarcerated as an indigenous boy, and after 23 years he escapes his outback prison and heads for the old city of Sydney to find freedom as a man. An Upside detective, Junger, is sent to find him with the aid of a T2R, a Tactical Response Retriever.
C22108/3 connects with the locals, inheriting the name ‘Kelly’ through his use of a lead suit to evade the tracking of his Internal Position Monitor. The chase is on for Junger to intercept Kelly before he reaches the Bunker, an abandoned Colony reopened by a band of punk squatters. Overseen by the sole survivor, Cat, the Bunker is now utilized as a medical centre and IPM removal ward for Upside refugees wishing to be freed from the constraints of Authority.
Human spirit will shine in a world with no future.
Originally written in the 1990s, now is the time to read Dead Earth Dreaming.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 8, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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