Into a Dystopian Universe

Gary Szendzielarz
Gary Szendzielarz Author Interview

Fallen Gods follows a young man that suddenly discovers he has powers and sets out on journey that reveals much more about himself and the world then he had imagined. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I began writing this story, albeit it very differently at the time, as a teenager in school. I actually had a tough time in school, was bullied quite badly, but at the same time I didn’t want to just give up. Instead I focused on my fantasies, essentially what if? Over the years, my ideas developed but I didn’t really have the drive I needed to write the book properly. Then I told the story to my wife and she pushed me to get it done.

The idea of the witches was inspired by a group of girls I knew at school. They were essentially “IT” girls, not bullies of other girls, but they were the ones who every girl wanted to be. Completely by chance, my older brother was friends with the brother of one of the girls, and for some reason, that meant that I became a friend to the girls. It felt special to me and really put me in a different place; but then the more I got to know them personally, the more I felt that they were not the nicest people to be around.

Adam is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

That comes from my experiences growing up on the Isle of Man, and then being forced to move to Lincolnshire, which was hell on Earth for me. I was always an emotional person but after my set of misfortunes over the years, I grew a thick-skin, which led into the position I am in today at work, done all through determination and fight. I wanted Adam to go through the same thing, just much faster, obviously. I wanted to character to actually be a beacon for all those who struggle to recognise their own potential, to be able to understand that we are all capable of more, to beat our demons; we just need time and support. But it’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to cry and get scared.

The psychology of the main characters is extremely important for me, because this is essentially the introductory book to a string of follow-ups. It will lead into a dystopian universe which will twist a little bit. I know one of my concerns were on the character development at the beginning, that I did not develop the connection to the characters until later in the book, and for some that maybe a problem, but it’s important to understand that none of the characters have fully developed into what they will become, and we still do not know if what happened throughout the book was the correct thing for the world.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but for me religion has always played a negative element in my life. It never had good experiences with religion and it has left a bitter taste in my mouth. As an atheist, I wanted to provide an alternative angle to religion, to allow us to question why Abrahamic religions play so heavily on the idea of masculinity, and why women were second class in the bible etc. What if all of this was a cover for something much deeper and darker?

I also wanted to address the idea of gender and sexuality. If we were to look at the world as the witches did, then there is a fluidity to their sexuality, but their own take on religion takes away the idea of multiple genders. In some ways, we could suggest that the fight against the witches could be mistakenly viewed as misogyny, right up until you realise that the witches care less about women and men but really their own selfish gains.

Finally, there are hints in the book of Adam’s sexuality too, but given how confused he is by his own situation, I did not want to address it too deeply. Really, I wanted to leave it to the reader for them to make their own judgment of who or what Adam really is.

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

I’m actually working on the next books for the Fallen Gods series. One will be the direct sequel, taking place a decade and a half after the events in Fallen Gods, and will be a decidedly darker and longer novel than the first. Then the other is a shorter novella that I will be giving away online free, and will be about a different character not in the first book, and will be a join between book 1 and 2, but can also be read as a standalone novella; in other words, the idea is that you can read the novella and then go and read the first or second book and still know what is going on.

I also have a couple of other ideas in the works, but they are in the skeleton phase right now. One is about a part-time government assassin who accidentally kicks off a revolution. Another is a dark thriller about husband who discovers a dark secret about his Czech wife and her childhood at time when she escaped from communist Czechoslovakia.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

Adam Slater always felt something was off about his life; that he was not supposed to be a bullied, wimpy little kid.

In 1984, eight year old Adam and his friends discover an abandoned car near a large creepy work shed. Kids being kids, they decide to search, only to find the car belongs to a missing MI5 agent named Hendley. In the car, Adam finds an old leather-bound book written in a language, the likes of which he had never seen before; whilst Adam’s friend Ian enters the shed, only to suddenly vanish, never to be seen again.

All of this kicks off events which will change Adam’s life forever. On his eighteenth birthday, everything changes in an instant. Suddenly, he is strong, powerful, and can do things which should have been impossible.

Determined to understand who, or what he is, Adam begins to investigate, discovering an alien race of women, trapped on Earth for millennia, known as Witches, who shaped modern-day religion. He also discovers that the MI5 agent’s wife, Carol, is not who she appears.

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, surrounded by his best friends, Adam travels across Europe, visiting historical sites and investigating Greek mythology, to find out why he has powers. Joining them are four beautiful girls; girls the boys never dreamed of talking to before. But these are no ordinary girls; rather they are witches who may not have Adam’s best interests at heart. Adam soon discovers that not all is as it seems, and their journey will not be a fun-filled relaxing adventure, but rather a trail of death and destruction, leading to the revelation that the world is in grave danger and Adam may be the only person capable of saving humanity.

Standing in the way will be the witches and the threat of a bounty hunter goddess named Venus. What begins as an epic adventure amongst friends, descends into a battle of epic proportions, and a race against time to stop an evil goddess from restoring her powers and destroying the Earth once and for all.

Adam has to grow from weak wimpy kid, to confident, strong adult; and fast. In order to do that, he needs to discover who he is and why, and he may not like the answer. The truth could ruin him. Getting the answer may kill him, and everyone he holds close. One thing is for certain, the world will never be the same again.

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 May 28, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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