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The Moral Dilemmas of a Character

Mike Waller
Mike Waller Author Interview

HAWK: Hellfire follows a galactic mercenary who is searching for justice on a remote colony world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Many years ago I knew a returned soldier from Vietnam who often remarked on the regrets he had from his experiences. He had realized that the people who suffered the most from war were the innocents, the ones who neither wanted nor asked for it. When he came home he found it hard to put behind him, and found very little help to do so, and I always thought that would be a good basis for a story. My writing leans to Science Fiction and I found it easy to use that character in the Sci-Fi scenario. When I started writing Science Fiction I never intended to do Military Sci-Fi, but I seem to have lent that way. No other sub genre lends itself to exploring the moral dilemmas of a character as well.

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

Hawks journey is basically one to find his own moral foundation. From a wild childhood to the courts and then the military, he learns to become a supreme killer, at a time of life when he is ill prepared to deal with the moral and ethical consequences. There is war, and he simply does as he is commanded.

When the war is over, an older and wiser Hawk has time to look back at his life, and realizes the pain and suffering he and his kind have caused. He determines to change, but finds he cannot not escape his old self. The story follows his journey as he gradually begins to realize, identify with and respect the position of the unseen victims of war, and then divert his efforts to helping them improve their lot in the only way he knows how.

My driving force behind creating the character was very simple. Individuals like Hawk exist everywhere in the world today, and as long as wars persist and innocents die, they always will.

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

I wanted to explore the reality that war and drugs and the like affect innocent bystanders more than anyone else, and that the people behind those events, be they politicians or drug lords, don’t care.

I also have always had a problem with the way many veterans are treated when they return from war. In Australia (My home) soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were literally brought in the back door and never given the appreciation or help they deserved. They were trained to be killers (often against their will due to conscription) and were never ‘untrained’. Many of them found it hard to deal with life after war.
The human universe I created for Hawk to inhabit also gave me the chance to explore what I think the future will look like. I do not believe that our future will be a squeaky clean Galactic empire as in Asimov’s Foundation series. I expect that once we get out there, people will seek to take their own paths based on culture, religion, ethnicity and so on. The future human society will be just as fractured as it is now, sadly. However, this does give me the opportunity to create different societies on different worlds, and that is something I enjoy doing immensely.

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

I am currently writing a sequel to my Book ‘Falcon’s Call’, which has won several awards. Falcon’s Call was originally intended to be a stand alone, one of, first contact story, but I have had so many requests for a sequel that I decided to bite the bullet and continue the story. The second book will be called ‘Falcon’s Ghost’ and is based on the main character, Joe Falcon, discovering that everything he thought he knew in the first book, is false, and the reality is far stranger and much more dangerous. I hope to follow this one up with a third book, ‘Falcon’s Bane’, to complete the trilogy. Falcon’s Ghost should be out by April this year, and hopefully, ‘Bane’ by Christmas next.

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Sometimes, death is necessary.

Two thousand years after the Great Diaspora humanity has spread across the Orion Spur, the human domain fractured and diverse, divided into numerous small federations, empires, dictatorships and a thousand unaligned and lonely planets.
On one of those small worlds a plant grows, a weed that feeds the addiction of many and the greed and avarice of a few, and kills without favor.

Lazarus Hawk, ex-soldier and ex-mercenary, convicted of a crime of terror he did not commit, and sentenced to life on an airless prison moon from which there is no escape, has been offered a way out. It’s a chance. A good chance.

To accept the offer, all he has to do is die.

Forced to undertake a mission against his better judgment, Hawk finds himself teaming up with the locals of a small, backward world, and Abbie Renner, a young Guarda officer searching for the source of the drug Hellfire, and prepared to go to any lengths. This time she has gone too far. This time she needs help.

Can Hawk overcome the mistrust and reticence of a small colony world to accomplish the mission he has been forced to undertake in return for his life?

If you like great, classic science fiction, you will love this new work by multi-award-winning author Mike Waller, an action packed dive into the world of a galactic mercenary driven by the ghosts from his past. Grab a copy now and join Lazarus Hawk in his search for justice for a remote colony world.

HAWK: Hellfire

HAWK: Hellfire by [Mike Waller]

Hawk: Hellfire follows Lazarus Hawk and Abigail Renner as they are tasked – more like forced into Hawk’s case – to track down the source of a vicious drug known as hellfire. Set across planets with humanity in fractured societies, the convicted felon, and Guarda officer, team up to overthrow a dictatorship in the small world that created the worst drug known to humanity.

As a fan of science fiction, the intergalactic setting with numerous planets, alliances, and empires that spans across the galaxy sparked the deep love I have for the genre. This was not at the forefront of the novel, but it was wildly creative, executed finely, and fits its needs for the story. The journey through space and planets was fun and each planet exuded a unique culture without diverting attention away from the story.

Abigail Renner had an intriguing background and motives that were explored well but not enough screen time was given, in my opinion. Our protagonist, Hawk, was a great character to follow with his own scars and motives that moved the plot forward, but I would have liked to see a few more chapters from Abigail’s point of view. Hawk was very likable though, being more of an anti-hero type with a complicated past as an ex-soldier, ex-mercenary, and framed convict, but the novel reveals his strong morals and his kinder nature than usual mercenaries. This made following and rooting for him easy.

Mike Waller’s writing style was a joy to read. Every line seemed to jump at you and scream action with his strong choice of active verbs. Waller had a smooth and digestible style that blasted every sentence forward with momentum and didn’t distract from the story with flowery writing.

The story of Hawk: Hellfire was an adrenaline-pumping action piece, complete with drug lords, cops and corrupt government officials. It was hard to put it down at times and had me guessing where it would go next. The effects of the ‘hellfire’ intriguing and well implemented, and it was interesting to see what people did under the influence and how our characters had to deal with it. It all comes together with an extremely satisfying ending to an exciting, but ultimately uplifting novel. Perfect for science fiction fans looking for a gritty and entertaining space opera.

Pages: 402 | ASIN: B08CXHPZTY

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