I’m delighted to be hosting Richard Paolinelli in my hot seat today chatting about his novel When The Gods Fell.
Find out the idea/inspiration for When The Gods Fell and what inspires Richard to write as well as the best part of his writing journey so far … and more.
A game of thrones on ancient Mars!
Oracle Veritas of the House of Delphi has waited for over 65 million years to tell her story to the children of Olympus. Now, in the year 2041, the first humans from Earth have stepped onto the surface of Mars. But instead of a barren world littered with long-dead probes and rovers, the crew of the Seeker will encounter Oracle and hear of a world that was once covered in seas and lakes, icecaps and deserts, plains and forests. When it was a world called Olympus, inhabited by the race of advanced immortals that called the planet home.
How Lord Zeus, head of the ruling family of Caste Olympus, was ruler of the world. But other Castes chaff under the Olympian rule. Lord Odin, of Caste Norse, and Lord Anu, of Caste Paga, have set their eyes upon the throne of Olympus. Even as the jubilee celebration of Zeus’ rule draws near, Odin and Anu recruit the leaders of the other Castes – Dine, Asiac, Afrikans and Hindi – to their cause against the mighty Zeus.
Only Caste Zion, led by Lord Yahweh, remains loyal to the throne. A loyalty proven two centuries before when Yahweh exiled his own son, Lucifer, after a failed coup attempt. But Lucifer’s treachery will not die. He waits for the rebellious Castes to strike against his father and set him free from his prison on Gaia, the third planet in Olympus’ solar system.
As the plotters move against the throne, Zeus sees the extinction of all life on Olympus as the only possible result of the looming civil war. He is left with only one terrible solution. Zeus turns to the only person he can trust to carry out his last order as ruler of Olympus.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise When The Gods Fell in 20 words or less.
For millennia we have worshipped the gods and goddesses. Everything we thought we knew about them is completely wrong.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to do my own Dune-type work. The thought of the beings we’ve known as gods being more like us struck me one day and it just morphed from there into this book.
Did you do any research for your book Richard? What resources did you use?
Quite a lot actually. Starting with the Bible and any book or online encyclopedia I could get my hands on about any god from any culture.
Do you have a theme for your book covers? Who designs them?
Not really a theme. I just want them to catch your eye. And I usually design all of my covers.
The exceptions are Escaping Infinity.
I found that cover displayed by a very talented cover artist in Germany and secured the rights to use it.
For this book, When The Gods Fell, I had the concept and the elements but it needed some fine tuning. Barbara Beck stepped in and helped finish it for me and it turned out great.
What inspired you to write?
I’ve always had this desire to write, even as a child when I would write little stories in a small notebook while riding in the back of the family car as we moved to the next state my father’s drilling business was taking us to. I just enjoy creating these new “worlds” and sharing them with people. The greatest joy I get is when someone tells me they enjoyed reading one of my books because I brought some small measure of joy to their own lives.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Later in the evening seems to be the best time for me and I blame that on my career as a sports writer. We usually did the majority of our writing after 8 p.m. That seems to be about the time my writing mojo really kicks in even several years after I retired as a sports writer.
Panster or a plotter?
I’m a bit of both actually. I start with a very general outline and then take off from there. I’m constantly making adjustments (and going to back to fix a few things in previous chapters when I make said adjustments) and let the character and the events in the story guide me from there. It sounds like chaos, I know, but there is a method to the madness and it seems to work for me.
Which authors have influenced your writing Richard?
Jack McDevitt, Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe.
If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?
It’s funny. The last two sci-fi novels were started as pure stand alones. But people have been asking about sequels for both. I could revisit them for sequels, but that will come later.
What are you currently working on?
I am writing a middle grade/YA steampunk series, The Timeless. Right now it is slated for 6 books. But the door is definitely open for more if the series is well-received.
Finally, what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
The people I’ve met over the past few years – writers and readers alike – who have shared their thoughts on my books and who have shared the books that they have written. Many of them I now call friends. I consider myself fortunate, and my life enriched, by having met them and I look forward to meeting many more in the years to come.
Thank you for being my guest.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. His 20-year sports writing career was highlighted by the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story.
In 2010, Richard retired as a sportswriter and returned to his fiction writing roots. Since then he has written six novels, including the recently released, When The Gods Fell, three Sherlock Holmes pastiches, two non-fiction sports books, three novelettes and has appeared in several anthologies.
He plans on releasing The Timeless series, a middle-grade YA Steampunk series, this fall and another novel, Firstborn’s Curse, around Christmas.
Connect with Richard Paolinelli
Read all posts in the science fiction genre on Jera’s Jamboree.