Besides doing reviews of television and movies, I also do book reviews on my pop culture blog and on my Gilbert Curiosities blog. I was especially excited to interview William Howard about his new book because William and I go back many years. We both worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences together. If you enjoy reading science fiction, then you’ll want to learn more about The Eye of Hermes.
Gilbert. Hi William. I’m so excited for you to be a guest on my blog. Why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
William Howard: I am someone who has an insatiable desire to learn about the world. I felt like I learned new things every day from my preschoolers when I taught for twenty years with the School District of Philadelphia. I explored the history of Philadelphia as a graduate student in history at LaSalle University. I also wrote about the history of Philadelphia neighborhoods as an intern with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I have had the opportunity to work with live animals and dinosaurs, two of my favorite things in the world, at the Academy of Natural Sciences. I am now semi-retired from teaching, but still work as a Behavioral Specialist with the School District of Philadelphia. I enjoy spending time with my wife, Bonnie and working on the next great American Sci-fi novel.
Gilbert: What inspires you to write?
William Howard: I feel that I have a unique way of looking at the world. I’m always wondering, “what if?” and these questions allow me to create stories that I hope will entertain the public.
Gilbert: What genre do you prefer to write?
William Howard: I have always been a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy because the genre allows you a greater sense of creativity and inventiveness.
Gilbert: Tell us a little bit about your first book, The Eye of Hermes.
William Howard: The dominant aliens in the Venusian galaxy are very far from human. There has been a war going on for close to five hundred years between two genetically engineered insect races, the Polistine and the Beetleguise. The only place where the two races tolerate each other is on the Minerva Penitentiary where they are responsible for maintaining a prison for the worst reptile villains. But there are far worse dangers to come as the book begins. An ancient gem, the Eye of Hermes, has awakened from a long slumber with an insatiable desire for energy. And worst of all, the worst war criminal in the universe, Diabolix, has new plans for conquest.
Gilbert: Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
William Howard: It actually came from two different sources. I was watching a documentary on peculiar astral phenomenon in our galaxy when they had a segment about a Frankenstein moon that had been created when two asteroids had collided and melded together. When I got done watching the program, I thought to myself, that Frankenstein Moon would make an extremely remote and impenetrable prison.
The other half of the inspiration for the book related to the Eye of Hermes. What if there was a civilization in the distant future who had found an unlimited source of power in the natural world, but they weren’t able to control it? And what if that power source began to gain the power of self-awareness over the millennia? With that, the unstoppable Eye of Hermes was born.
Gilbert: Is this a series or stand-alone novel?
William Howard: The Minerva universe is vast so there are definitely more stories to tell about these characters. I also have plans to bring back old friends in future novels but also introduce other aliens who will be causing trouble in the galaxy.
Gilbert: What are you working on now?
William Howard: I am working a non-Minerva book. It is about an android that is created at a futuristic institute for the study of cybernetics and medicine. She inadvertently becomes embroiled in the murder of a high ranking government
official. It is a tale of betrayal, greed and deceit that will keep you guessing to the very end. The working title is Marigolds in the Moonlight.
Gilbert: Thank you William for chatting with me about your book. I can’t wait to read it. You can The Eye of Hermes on Amazon. William will be doing book signings in March at: The South Jersey Author Expo at the Deptford Mall on March 11th from 10 to 4 and, at The Treehouse Coffee Shop in Audubon NJ on March 25th from 1 to 3. Stop by and say hello to him.