Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.
Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had.
I recently reviewed this wonderful story and you can find that here.
Mr Pease was gracious enough to answer some questions about the novel and writing in general. I hope you enjoy reading some behind-the-scenes look at writing a novel and what makes Noah tick.
1. I really enjoyed the twist on such a classic story. What was the genesis/inspiration for Noah Zarc?
"Genesis" I get it! :-) The idea for Noah Zarc came directly from the name itself, the play on words of Noah's Ark. It was actually originally conceived with a friend of mine years ago. We talked about creating a video game or animated TV show, but it never went anywhere. Somewhere about three years ago, I dug it out and realized it could make a fun book. I loved the concept of what lengths mankind would go to if they lived in a post-apocalyptic universe where all animal life was destroyed, and time-travel was a reality. Would it be worthwhile to try to save the animals? What kind of safeguards would be put in place to make sure the technology wasn't abused. There were just all kinds of fun things to explore.
2. I know this is your first published novel, but is this your first attempt at writing a book?
This was the second novel I've finished. The first was a huge, epic fantasy that I wrote years ago. I'm not sure it'll ever see the light of day. It needs a bunch of work and is just a wee bit too "Lord of the Rings-ish."
3. What is the easiest/most enjoyable thing for you regarding writing? The most difficult?
When I'm writing, and it's flowing, it's the best feeling in the world. There are days when I am just sitting at my keyboard and my fingers are flying. I can't type fast enough. I absolutely love the feeling of discovery. Like I am not writing the story as much as discovering the story in some subconscious region of my brain. That is by far the most enjoyable thing. The most difficult thing is carving out the time to do it. As much as I love it when it's working, I still find it hard to make myself sit down and write at times. There's always something else screaming for attention.
4. Time travel is always tricky and there are many different takes on cause/effect and rules - how did you come up with the rules of time travel for Noah Zarc?
Obviously the idea that time-travel is even possible is still up for debate, so the nice thing is, I could just make it behave the way I wanted it to. I've had lengthy discussions with friends who have read Noah Zarc, that disagree with the way I presented it. I'm saying you can't change time, but they ask aren't I doing that my rescuing animals? May answer is for those specific animals, I'm not changing anything, they always have been rescued by Noah. The great thing is, we can disagree because at this point there are no "facts" when it comes to navigating through time. Obviously I took liberties here and there to fit the story, but I worked hard to at least make it internally consistent throughout the book.
5. I know it isn't crucial to the story, but what are all those animals eating on board the ARC, since they are in isolated environments? Most specifically the carnivores?
There's one scene early on, when Noah is looking out over a hydroponic garden cared for by robots. This is where all the plant-based food comes from. And in the 31st century, meat is all created artificially from plant-based material too. That's how they get "synth-burgers" and such. Noah doesn't have real meat until he eats Mammoth.
6. How did you decide how "civilized" to make the cavemen in the Ice Age?
This is actually a great question, and one whose answer could cause a bit of controversy. You see, I'm one of those wackos who still believe in a literal, seven-day creation by God. I did not set out by any means to make Noah Zarc a religious book. I'm not a big fan of preachy books that have an agenda. I just wanted a fun story kids would love. But of course in everything we do, our beliefs will leak out. I approached the cavemen with the idea that if they were closer in time to the perfect creation, then intelligence-wise, they would be more advanced than we are now (or humans in 31st century). Sure our technology is far superior, because we've had thousands of years to advance it. But maybe cavemen weren't as dumb as we think. Just a fun thought experiment more than anything I'm willing to go to the mat for.
7. I love that Noah belongs to a functioning family (but they're not "perfect"). Was that a conscious choice?
For sure this was. I wanted to give kids a little glimpse into just how much their parents love them. Being a dad this was really important to me. I know it's something kids will never quite know until they have kids of their own, but if I could just give them a little peek into what lengths parents would go to protect them, then I feel like I did what I set out to do.
We just want to thank Mr Pease again for his time!
I highly recommend this book for boys 9-14 years of age, but I think many girls and also moms and dads will find it highly entertaining as well.
Christmas is only a few weeks away, still plenty of time to order this as a present! :)
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D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox
behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he
hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since
the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the
Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him
like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds
just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.
Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com
THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win
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