How did you come up with the title? Kain is a brainwashed assassin created by the Empire Daitya. I chose the name for its Biblical reference, from the story of Cain and Abel. It tickles me pink to use names that have a mythological or archetypal significance. I like to Hansel and Gretel my way through a novel, leaving a trail of little crumbs of meaning for the reader to follow. It’s a pathology, and I blame my sun sign (Scorpio).
Can you tell us about your main character? Lukian Valentin was born in a collapsing slum in the central megalopolis of the Empire Daitya. His starving parents had no choice but to donate him to the Empire for a tax break. Lucky enough to be born with the genetic markers for success, he was granted entry into the state’s intelligence department. Lukian finds his life empty, meaningless, and fears his secret disgust for the Empire may be slowly driving him insane. Anything less than perfect conduct would warrant his death.
How did you develop your plot and characters? One of the best things I think I did to sculpt Lukian’s depth and credibility was to constantly knock him down and present him with handicaps. Due to the nature of his true self, he has lots of superpower-esque abilities–I did my best to counterbalance these with all kinds of shortcomings, nanomachines for control, ammunition limitations, and exaggerating his social awkwardness to the extreme.
Who designed the cover? I had a blast creating my cover! I built the costume and hired a model to pose. A friend who went to school for makeup and photography decorated him with bruises and took some snapshots. I then sent the photos off to a cover designer, who created all the other art and background imagery, and magically transformed the cover into what you see.
Why did you choose to write this particular book? Kain started brewing in my imagination over seven years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that I got serious about the project and chose to see it through to completion.
Its inspiration comes from a number of places. I read Behold a Pale Horse and Trance Formation of America just after immigrating to Canada, and was severely rattled by those books. I became obsessed with learning about psyops and mind control.
I read about all of these positively insane things, and wondered, what if? Where are we headed, as a society? Where would certain entities take us, as a society, if they simply had their way with the world?
On a personal level, we are all engineered socially to some degree. We are constantly bombarded with images in the media and advertising, being told our life should be a certain way. Coupled with Freudian experiences, imprints left in our minds from early events in life, the truth is, we are all programmed to an incredible degree.
Freedom comes from recognizing one’s programming, and becoming aware of it. People are taught certain things by society and by their parents for the purposes of help and protection–but even the best-intended defense mechanisms can become outdated, or be applied the wrong way. Until a person understands the unconscious mechanisms of the mind, he can only react to situations, rather than respond. I think unconscious emotional programming results in lots of relationship-destroying, knee-jerk arguments and prejudice.
I think, to mature and evolve, we have to become aware of the arsenal of reactionary tools we’ve been given, examine them, and choose to discard the ones that cause harm. Kain is about confronting that programming, and finding the power to choose.
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Genre – Sci-Fi/Steamy Romance
Rating – R (18+)
Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.