Posted by Literary Titan
Behind the Gem follows Raymond and his coworkers as they are taken from Earth and transported across the galaxy where Raymond becomes a surrogate for the aliens eggs. How did you come up with this intriguing and idea and develop it into a story?
The idea just suddenly dropped into my mind. It took off with a mind of it’s own, with me towed behind. It quickly became an obsession, and I was frequently awakened at night with ideas that had to be written down before I’d forget them. Many ideas were lost until I purchased a voice recorder that I keep with me constantly. I keep it on my bed table, and the next morning, I’m amused by the sleepy voices emanating from it while I write down ideas recorded from the night before. Like any novel in progress, the story line changes; it has to. The first completed write of Behind the Gem is 235,000 words long, The finished version of Behind the Gem is 81,00 words long. Some of the first write will appear in a second story in progress, Behind the Gem: A New Direction. Don’t groan, it won’t be as a flashback.
Raymond has to overcome many obstacles in his new life with the Drassens. What was the inspiration for the culture of the Drassens? Are they modeled after any particular society?
In contrast to the alien movies on the silver screen, I have always envisioned a gentle, benevolent society of aliens, showing us how to live in peace and harmony with them, and each other. I had to shuck the commonality of current thinking about aliens, and dig into my imagination for a story that I would enjoy. Key words, ‘I would enjoy’. I wrote Behind the Gem for my own entertainment, but encouragement from others suggested I should get it published, get a movie deal, make lots of money (what?). Reality supersedes such lofty goals, but we must have a dream to keep life interesting. This dream is mine.
I understand that you grew up in a military family. How do you think that affects your writing?
Not so much for Behind the Gem. It does have a limited effect on my second novel, The Eyes Behold Tomorrow.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be published?
To be released in 2017, my third novel, It Was A Small Affair, chronicles an Army infantry squad delivering ammunition to a training exercise, gets caught in a time warp that lands them outside the Alamo, thirteen days before it fell. My own military experience is shown here with glaring efficacy.
Ripped from heart and home by galactic farmers, Ray and his co-workers are taken hundreds of light years across the galaxy and left to fend for themselves. When he begins hearing a voice in his head and is unjustly blamed for the deaths of his friends, he is separated from them and is led to a gentle race of aliens called the Draasen. He experiences a new way of life with responsibilities and challenges he never could have imagined. He is accepted into their society, but at a high cost to his dignity when he is led into protecting and birthing their eggs. When the galactic farmers arrive to take the Draasen population as fodder, the Draasen’s fate becomes entwined with that of the nearly extinct human race and their mutual struggle to survive.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
When entire buildings begin disappearing around earth, former Army Ranger Raymond knows that the end cannot be too far away for him and his fellow humans. A normal day at the office takes an unexpected turn, causing Raymond to make use of his training as everything around him begins to suddenly change. However, no amount of training could’ve prepared him for the Drassens—a species of aliens with a matriarchal society. After being saved from certain destruction, Raymond forms a bond with the High One, unleashing a series of events that will challenge everything he knows about the universe and himself.
Ken Hart’s Behind the Gem delves deep into a future where earth’s existence begins to unravel as entire buildings begin to disappear on by one. At the center of this story is Raymond, a former Army Ranger who lives with his wife, rides a motorcycle, and works a regular office job. Normalcy for him, as well as the reader, is forever changed with the introduction of the species of aliens called the Drassens.
Hart’s creation of an alien, matriarchal society comes naturally throughout the book. Where some writers rely on heavy descriptions to convey that the new world is vastly different from earth, Hart allows his characters, mannerisms, and short descriptive phrases to usher the reader into a world that is vastly different from earth. Though some parts of the book could use more exposition as to why certain things are happening or to help separate the travel from one location from a different one (such as the Most High One’s palace and the landing), there remains little to complain about when it comes to world building.
The electronic devices and healing mechanisms are very unique to this story and to this world that Hart created. It has a familiarity, but comes with variances that make it new and exciting without being overwhelming. Additionally, the alien species seems to round out the total uniqueness of the story. Hart’s description of the new aliens leaves nothing to be questioned, allowing the familiarity of the mammal-like species to ease Raymond’s trust in the creature while also showing the difference of the alien from humans.
Behind the Gem is well conceived but I felt that there were elements that could of been handled with greater care. The relationship between Raymond and Amber—though well-written and thought out—could be viewed as Stockholm Syndrome. Every element of their unconventional relationship, I felt, should have been handled with greater detail to give readers a better understanding of their connection.
As Raymond’s trust with the aliens develops, so does the writing style of the book. What begins as a journal written almost completely in stream of consciousness with strange introduction of characters develops into a more matured and skilled version of his story as he begins to become more and more educated like the Drassens who surround him. It is a nice touch that assists in capturing Raymond’s transformation. If you enjoy a good alien invasion story, then this book should be next on your list.
Pages: 286 | ISBN: 1629894206
Tags: action, alien, amazon books, army, author, behind the gem, book, book review, books, colonization, contact, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, invasion, ken hart, novel, publishing, ranger, reading, review, reviews, sci fi, science ficiton, science fiction, science fiction book review, society, species, stockholm, stories, syndrome, writing