Conformity vs Individuality

Craig Weidhuner Author Interview

Liberator: The People’s Guard follows a man who is a member of a secret police organization that genetically modifies him to become a real superhero. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There wasn’t any one specific thing or event that inspired my story. I’ve always been fascinated by the history of Russia, particularly the period from the Russian Revolution to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In part because my parents grew up in post war Germany and had to flee when the Soviets invaded. My father specifically grew up in America, thus was taught that those “godless commies” were the bad guys. Also after reading the manga “Fairy Tail” and the idea of magic guilds, I thought of the idea of registered superheroes; in other words, how would real world governments react if people like Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man and such actually existed. I also drew inspiration from the backstory of “Khan” from Star Trek. The idea of governments trying to control such people because, as someone once said, “What you can control can’t hurt you.” 

Tovarich has a moment of awakening, where he starts to see what he grew up believing may not be what is right or what he now believes. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I’ve always been what they call a ‘sigma male’. I like doing my own thing and following my own interests, regardless of what’s popular or cool. I’ve never been one to concern myself about the latest trends or fads. Also I’m also not the type of person to blindly follow authority figures (be it politicians, celebrities, businessmen, even teachers or my own parents) I don’t believe they’re always right about everything. I believe in looking within and thinking for yourself. Like the character of Sister Rose in my “Mystical Force” series, Tovarich is a person who grew up having dogmatism drilled into his head ever since he was a small child. Now, that inner voice/wisdom within him is telling him what the state is saying isn’t true. Actually his ‘higher self’ has been doing that all along, it’s just now that he’s starting to listen to it.    

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

The same theme from “Mystical Force” the idea of conformity vs individuality. Those who look within, who make their own decisions in life, who think for themselves vs those who don’t want to think and would rather drift blindly through life being told what to think, do and say by others. The idea of setting the story in a totalitarian dictatorship seemed like an ideal setting to explore such a concept. Especially now with since Ruthenia is an obvious expy of Russia/the Soviet Union and Putin’s unjust invasion of Ukraine (which I am firmly against). But more so that that, the fact that we’re seeing the rise of more authoritarian leaders (whether they’re left or right wing makes no difference) who willingly spread misinformation to ignorant followers who blindly accept it without question. They resort to such methods because they know the rest of the world is awakening and seeing through the lies. Thus they react out of fear because they know the power they once held in an iron grip is rapidly slipping away from them and they’re in panic mode because of that. 

What is Volume 2 in the series going to be about, and when will it be available?

Volume 2 follows the natural progression of a country creating a genetically enhanced superhero, other countries react with panic and create their own to try and counter the Liberator. Volume 2 deals with General Flagg and Usonia trying to create their own version of the Liberator, one that’s loyal to their country. I’m currently writing the manuscript for that one so it will probably be out by the fall of 2023. Currently I’m working with Tellwell on publishing Mystical Force Vol. 5: Shadows and Darkness. That one should be out sometime in the spring of 2023. By the time that’s published I should have the manuscript for Liberator Vol. 2 ready for editing and publication.

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Ever since he was a small child growing up in the Democratic People’s Republic of Ruthenia, Tovarich Revanov was always taught about the “enemies of the people,” and that “enemies” don’t deserve compassion or mercy. Now, as an adult, he’s about to put that lesson to the test. Chosen to be “the Liberator,” he’s the state’s newest “official state-sponsored hero,” here to protect the workers of Ruthenia from the “enemies of the people.” Unfortunately, in a totalitarian dictatorship, “enemies” can be anyone, from terrorists plotting to blow up
buildings, to peaceful demonstrators protesting their government’s poor human-rights record, both of which he must face when a terrorist group plots to kidnap the premier in protest of the state’s iron-clad rule. Fortunately, he’s been genetically modified to be stronger and more resilient than the average person. But do these enhancements help make him a better hero, or further emphasize him as a tool of oppression? Is he the hero or is he the villain? Join Tovarich in this exciting new series as he discovers for himself what it truly means to be a hero. The only real question is: Will his definition of “hero” be compatible with that of the state?

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 23, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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