(Mayhem Wave series, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: November 28, 2016
On May 30, 2004, the world transformed. Nearly all signs of civilization vanished, leaving in their wake a bizarre landscape of wilderness, advanced technology and magic, and leaving Harrison Cody very much alone. After weeks of surviving in solitude, he hears a voice on the radio, beckoning him to cross a thousand miles of terrifyingly random terrain to meet her, and any other survivors, in Chicago. Eager to find any remnants of humanity, he sets forth, joined by an unexpected—and inhuman—companion.
1) I've read just a couple chapters of the book so far, and it seems wonderfully inventive. What gave you the inspiration for this unique storyline?
It’s a combination of a variety of inspirations. The Mayhem Wave started as an experiment to blend fantasy and science fiction elements in a new way, or at least in a way I had never seen before. The post-apocalyptic aspect emerged from a simple daydream. I used to work in a bookstore, and that first scene with Harrison driving alone on I-91 came to me during a week when I was filling in for a store manager in another county. The commute was a lot longer than I was used to, and early in the morning I had the highway almost to myself. I started to picture it completely empty, with a character on a solitary drive to nowhere, and the questions of how he got there and why he was alone spun out into the premise for my story. The character of Glimmer was salvaged from an abandoned story idea I had in my early teens. I originally intended her to be a throwaway, transparent satire of Tinker Bell there for comic relief only, but she quickly got away from me. She’s like that.
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
I wouldn’t describe them as well-hidden, but yes, themes about family and heroism weave through the entire series. My goal with my protagonists was to show heroes defined by qualities other than courage and risk-taking (though they have those things, too). Heroism exists in subtler, less visible, less sexy forms, and I wanted to validate them.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
My family tends to crop up in all my books, but apart from that, I shy away from bringing real people into my imaginary worlds. Static Mayhem was my first novel, and I absolutely fell into the immature, first novel conceit of writing Harrison as an idealized version of myself. He has evolved over many drafts to the point where I don’t think he reads like that anymore, but I may be kidding myself. Dorothy is about 90% my middle daughter. One of the protagonists in the third and fourth (or fifth) books is about 90% my youngest daughter. One of the main characters of an unrelated book, Unhappenings, is about 60% my oldest daughter. Every love interest I have written for a male protagonist is some version of my wife.
4) I believe there are other works in this series. How many are there or will there be total? Have you completed them all? Do you know how the series will end?
There are three books finished, a fourth one partially drafted, and sketches for a fifth. Prelude to Mayhem is the first book chronologically. Static Mayhem takes place one year later, and is told entirely from Harrison’s POV. A third book, Mayhem’s Children, takes place eight years after that, and is told in split POV again, though it is very much Dorothy’s story. Mayhem’s Reign, will take place nine years after that, told in three-way POV, with the third character, someone introduced in Mayhem’s Children, being the most important. Meanwhile, while writing it, I have discovered an untold Dorothy story between the third and fourth books that I am now itching to write. It may or may not end up a full novel, chronologically fourth in the series. So, Mayhem’s Reign will either be book four or book five, but either way I intend it to be the finale of the series.
5) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
Great question, and my answer changes as I get older. I’m also not sure how apparent my influences will be to a reader, as I don’t think my work reads like any of these people. That said, a partial list would have to include the following: Lois McMaster Bujold, for her long-form, character-driven storytelling. Neil Gaiman, for stretching the boundaries of fantasy. Joss Whedon, for engaging dialog and the willingness to twist conventional tropes into something unexpected. Kurt Vonnegut, for elegant simplicity of prose. The list goes on, but that should suffice as a starter.
6) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
Tom Sawyer, Yossarian, and Ford Prefect. We would play poker. Any hors d’oeuvre will suffice, as well as unfettered access to whiskey. Poker is a game of guile and manipulation, and I cannot imagine a more entertaining evening than watching these guileful, manipulative bastards in their efforts to relieve each other of their coin. For my part, I would expect to fold a lot.
About the AuthorEdward Aubry is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a degree in music composition. Improbably, this preceded a career as a teacher of high school mathematics and creative writing.
Over the last few years, he has gradually transitioned from being a teacher who writes novels on the side to a novelist who teaches to support his family. He is also a poet, his sole published work in that form being the sixteen stanza “The History of Mathematics.”
He now lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife and three spectacular daughters, where he fills his non-teaching hours spinning tales of time-travel, wise-cracking pixies, and an assortment of other impossible things.