Another issue: I usually do blog hops and interviews, but one problem I ran into last year was that they wanted to talk about me and my experiences, and not about the book. That didn’t result in many sales, because let’s face it: readers don’t care about the author; they care about the book and how it speaks to them. Once a book is published, it becomes the readers’ and they should be free to take from it what they wish. If I’m telling them what it’s all about, then why bother? It leaves no room for perception or imagination.
So this time, I’m taking a different approach. Instead of doing “drop in’s,” I’m going to talk about Metamorphosis right here in my own blog, and the general theme. That way, you have the basic framework of the novel’s structure and theme, and are free to consider what it means to you as you read this adventure.
Metamorphosis picks up where Progenitor left off. As you can probably tell from the cover, we’re making a shift from the protagonists introduced in Progenitor to the antagonists that will continue to move this tale forward. The prologue introduces us to Hailey Reed, an Arizona lobbyist who was rendered unconscious during the massive nanotech surge at the end of Progenitor, as she has a vision of the cybernetic alien race that hacked Earth’s nanotech satellites. Hailey is a mid-forties woman beat by life: she lost her father to Parkinson’s disease shortly before being diagnosed with an early stage of the same disease, and depends on nanotech to keep the Parkinson’s at bay. Her husband left her shortly after her diagnosis to escape her tragic life for a new life with a younger woman, leaving her with the nanotech keeping her alive, and her career.
Another character we meet is Jane Hanniley, a sixty year old woman in Murrells Inlet, SC. She’s recently widowed, and recovering from an unsuccessful suicide attempt after her late husband’s daughter (by a former marriage) had his will altered to take most of the inheritance and leave Jane with the basic necessities to get her out of the way. Jane has nothing left but her home, her dead end career, and her son, who’s a lawyer in Washington D.C. with his own problems and little patience for his mother’s drama.
Hailey and Jane are the conduit where we learn about another alien race from Alpha Centauri, who want to come to Earth. They’ve been watching Earth for a while, and see us as their best chance at survival. The only problem is that the planet isn’t completely compatible with their cybernetically enhanced bodies, and it must be terraformed to support them. No problem – humanity now has nanotechnology, so all they have to do is replace our implants with their own, and both races can live in harmony. There’s just one problem: it will force humanity to evolve at a faster pace than nature intended. Add to that the energy alien presence already on Earth, and you have a three way battle for the planet.
I’ve said in previous interviews that The Earthside Trilogy is, at its core, about how people deal with pain. Progenitor spoke to the confusion that pain can cause, and Metamorphosis continues this theme by showing how this confusion can lead to anger. Anger is a natural emotion, and when handled correctly it can lead to good realizations and breakthroughs that can help us improve our lives and relationships. Unfortunately, it’s also a powerful emotion, so it usually isn’t handled right and often leads to more damage and problems. Not only is it hard to think rationally when you’re angry, but people are usually uncomfortable with it, so they’re more inclined to repress it or flee from it because they so fear it. This is dangerous, because if you don’t deal with your issues, then they follow you wherever you go and influence everything you do in negative ways. You can run, but you can’t hide. Anger can blind people, and emotions have a tendency to take us to places we have no conscious intention of going to. Anger and fear are closely related and are powerful motivators, but they aren’t positive motivators. The results they get are usually in favor of others manipulating those emotions, and they rarely garner long term loyalty. In fact, they can lead to deception and betrayal, especially when things inevitably unravel.
This is a theme I invite you to explore with me in Metamorphosis. We’ve all had experiences like Hailey and Jane, when the world is beating us down, and all we want is some relief so we can get control of our life again. It’s easy for emotions to blind us to right action and truth, and to search for any quick escape we can find instead of doing the hard work to pick up the pieces, repair what’s broken, and build a new life. As my Sunday School teacher said recently, people in “survival mode” rarely make good decisions, because they want what hurts the least right now and can’t see the big picture. Pain makes life wearisome, and the cybernetic aliens use Hailey and Jane’s pain as a tool for their own purpose. Hailey and Jane evolve as antagonists in The Earthside Trilogy simply because they’re tired of hurting, and they want it to stop. Does their choice to assist the cybernetic aliens in their takeover of Earth make them villains to humanity? Or does it make them villains of circumstance with the potential for redemption? Or is there a difference? I leave that to the readers to decide.
The anger theme also extends to others in the story. As Metamorphosis progresses, we see how the energy aliens and humanity (mostly in the form of government officials) react to this emerging threat. This, of course, leads to reactionary responses on their part, and force the energy aliens inhabiting humans to deal with this strange, powerful emotion that seems to be overriding logic. We see this struggle in particular through Kalea Kerner, one of the protagonists from Progenitor, as she struggles to balance this powerful emotion with the experiences and cool logic of her character and the alien within her. This struggle will continue into Emergence (Book Three) as the trilogy moves towards it’s final battle for the planet.
So reader, I leave it to you. As this tale moves through it’s midpoint, I invite you to consider who’s the true villain here? And what do you see in these themes of pain and anger? Let me know by leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads! You can get Progenitor and Metamorphosis for $0.99 at Amazon through April 10.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.