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Becoming God

Daniel Maunz Author Interview

Daniel Maunz Author Interview

Questions of Perspective follows an unenthusiastic lawyer whos only friend disappears, sending him on an existential journey. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thought-provoking novel?

I knew from the outset that I wanted to write a story about a person becoming God, and specifically, what a person should do if granted infinite power and knowledge. I also started writing this novel after leaving a profession as a litigator that was unfulfilling and left me without the time or energy to do much creative writing. I wanted to capture some of that personal struggle in the novel as well. I saw an opportunity to merge those two inspirations by having a mortal’s brief exposure to omniscience serve as a catalyst for that individual to reexamine their own life with fresh eyes, and take stock of what is important (and what is not).

Dave is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving themes you wanted to capture in his characters journey?

I, like a lot of people, spent a lot of years on autopilot, devoting my entire existence towards a career for no apparent purpose. That is also where Dave starts off at the beginning of Questions of Perspective. I knew fairly early on that Dave’s brief exposure to Godhood would be the triggering event that drove his journey, and I spent a lot of time thinking about how Dave would be changed as a result of that experience. I felt it would give Dave a greater perspective of his place in the universe (hence, the title), and a greater appreciation of just how valuable the gift of life can be (and how easy it is to take for granted). I also envisioned a reawakening of Dave’s ability to empathize with others, which, again, was the result of him being briefly connected to all of existence.

Dave’s odyssey of self-discovery is wrought with questions that are difficult to tackle. What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

This novel tackles a number of difficult, age-old questions that have no clear answer: What is the meaning of life? Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why does anything we do matter when we will all ultimately die anyway? Rather than try to provide a definitive answer to these questions, I thought it was interesting just to establish a framework, through fiction, that allows these questions to be addressed in a fresh light. I think the answers to these questions are unique to every individual, but I’m hopeful that Dave’s journey may help some readers come up with their own satisfactory answers to these questions.

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

I am currently revising a screenplay that I co-wrote, which is a mystery-comedy. We had hoped for it to film this summer, but now I’m not sure when that will take place in light of current events. The next novel I’m working on focuses on the notion of family, which is something that wasn’t fully explored in Questions of Perspective with its largely isolated protagonist. As in Questions of Perspective, my goal in the new book is to tackle some large, universal themes through a quirky narrative. It will also have a female protagonist, which is a writing challenge I’m enjoying so far (and I will be heavily relying on my wife on that front). I’m probably too early in the process to even guess at when it may be available.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | GoodReads

No one knew it at the time, but April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the history of the world.

After his only friend and colleague, John Manta, disappears without a word, Dave Randall further entrenches himself in the humdrum life of an unenthusiastic lawyer. But once he begins to understand what happened, he embarks on a journey to uncover the deeper meanings and implications of John’s fate.

Accompanied by Peaches the cat, Dave uproots his life and reinvents himself in the midst of his search. Along the way, he is haunted by his piecemeal understanding of John’s fate and what it means for his existence. Little does Dave know, his journey of self-discovery will have ramifications that extend far beyond the borders of his own little life.

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Questions of Perspective

Dave Randall had always found it hard to interact with people around the office. Dave was fine reflecting on his less than fulfilling life as a man of the law, but when his friend disappears he struggles to find out what happened to his friend. His friend finally appears to him and sheds some light on what happened to him. This sets off a series of events in Dave’s life and leads him to question his life and his beliefs. His journey of self-discovery is long and not without its bumps. Will John appear to him when he needs him? Will he get Abby back?

Daniel Maunz tells a touching story of one man’s struggle in life that we can all relate to. When Dave grief process is a lot like most people go through. Only he gets a chance that we never get.

Questions of Perspective will have you asking yourself difficult existential questions and motivate you to reflect. I found myself planning on how to improve my own life so it can be more fulfilling. The prose and tone of the book is casual but always engaging. Thus, giving the reader a sense of kinship with the characters. The book moves at a speed that allows the reader to acclimatize to the emotions of the characters as well as get used to the changing backdrops. It lets the reader take a break to think about his or her own life and then get right back on track with Dave on his own journey. All this is executed with a tinge of humor. Just enough to keep things light and fun but still let the reader know that this is serious stuff.

Dave is an intriguing an well developed character that supports the novels narrative. He is nothing like your usual hero. He is just a regular guy. You can almost picture him with a paunch and an awkward social persona. Peaches is the cat you wish your cat would be. The author has done a good job with the characters.

Questions of Perspective may not have the answers to life but it will help you keep from being frustrated that you do not have them either. Take your time with this book. It can be a nice relaxing read. It can also be the book that lights a fire under your seat.

Pages: 244 | ISBN: 1684334586

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