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  Author Exposure



An Interview with R.J. Archer
by Marty Olver

Marty: I’m talking with R.J. Archer, author of the three novels in the “Seeds Of Civilization” series—TRACTRIX, TSUBUTE and TRIANGLE, published between 2004 and 2008. R.J., thanks for taking time to answer a few questions posed by your fans.

R.J.: You’re very welcome. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Marty: These questions have been sent in by fans who wanted to know about your upcoming new series you call “Parallel Ops.”

Marty: In your first series of SciFi adventure novels—“Seeds Of Civilization”—your characters were average Joes who were inspired to investigate archaeological mysteries, above and below water. They formed an organization called NWIDI—Northwest Institute of Discovery and Investigation.  Is NWIDI an integral part of your new series, “Parallel Ops?” And does it continue to investigate real life archaeological mysteries?

R.J.: NWIDI was dissolved as a result of events that occurred in the closing pages of the “Seeds” trilogy, so the short answer is “No.” However, the three missions that NWIDI undertook in “Seeds” will haunt its four members throughout the “Parallel Ops” series.

Marty: Widower Frank Morton, a retired aerospace engineer, led the exploits in your first series. Is he the lead character in the second series, “Parallel Ops?” And do all four of the new novels have the same lead character?

R.J.: Quite the opposite! Three of the main characters from “Seeds” get to be the lead in their very own book in the “Ops” series. And they each get their own, unique supporting cast of characters.

Marty: Why did you choose the name “Parallel Ops” for the series title? And what are the names of the four novels?

R.J.: The first three books in the series all take place during the same period of time, or in parallel, hence the name “Parallel Ops.” Book 1 is titled The Scientists and stars NWIDI’s soft-spoken anthropologist, Jim Barnes. Book 2, The Informants, is led by former investigative reporter turned NWIDI researcher Linda McBride and her new husband, Javier Reyes. Book 3, The Guardians, features NWIDI’s “muscle” Tony Nicoletti. Book 1 is set in the Bahamas and western Europe; Book 2 takes place on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula; and Book 3 begins in Belize and quickly shifts to the British Virgin Islands.

Marty: What about the fourth book in the series?

R.J.: Ah, yes. The Teachers. Not much is known about Book 4 yet—not even by me!

Marty: You’ve described the “Seeds” series as “mystery adventure novels with a SciFi twist.” Does this also characterize the “Parallel Ops” series?

R.J.: Yes, but like “Seeds,” the science fiction in “Ops” is pretty subtle. If I say any more, I’ll give away the “Seeds” series to those who haven’t yet read it.

Marty: When you began conceptualizing your first series of novels in 2001, your experience as an IT consultant had led you to author more than 50 technical articles in print and online technical magazines. Has your published writing changed since 2001? Is it still technical?

R.J.: Partly as a result of interests cultivated while writing “Seeds,” my non-fiction writing has turned more to scuba diving and underwater archaeology topics. In May of 2009 I retired from my IT career and except for a little “moonlighting” I’ve pretty much left that part of my life behind. It was a good 35-year run, but now it’s time for something new.

Marty: What authors have influenced your writing?

R.J.: Graham Hancock, to be sure, but I was also inspired by several of Clive Cussler’s novels. That’s to say I didn’t like the fact that Dirk Pitt was this super-human macho guy who always seemed to be pulling rabbits out of thin air. My goal with “Seeds,” and again with “Ops,” was to create believable characters that we could all identify with—folks who used common sense and a little luck to get the job done. One of the reasons “Seeds” had four main characters was because each brought his or her own unique skills to the table.

Marty: How long do we have to wait to begin reading the first installment of “Parallel Ops?”

R.J.: Well, as I mentioned, Books 1, 2 and 3 are being written simultaneously and we hope to release them all at the same time, shortly after the first of the year (2010). Once they are in stores, I’ll begin writing the fourth and final book in the series with the goal of having it in readers’ hands about a year later.


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