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Interview with Michael Fletcher

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This week I’m asking five different questions to five different authors. Today, no doubt already wishing the ground would swallow him up, is Michael Fletcher, author of Beyond Redemption.

Hi Michael, and thanks for being here.

MichaelFletcherPic1. I always like to start with an easy question. So, how does the non-locality of a quantum fluctuation/entangled system turn into a localized interaction?

Einstein talked about "spooky actions at a distance," but I prefer spooky actions up close. If you want to get all entangled and interact, I'm cool with that. Hell, I've got an econo-sized bucket of Cool-Whip I can bring.

Wait. Is this a BDSM question?

Okaaay. This is the point where I back away slowly. And learn my lesson about asking smart alec questions (until the next interview, at least).

2. Beyond Redemption features men and women whose delusions become manifest, twisting reality. The third book in my Chronicles of the Exile series includes a man who is able to make his dreams manifest in the waking world. I quickly realised that I needed to set some rules on his abilities, else he would run roughshod over the story. Did you encounter something similar in Beyond Redemption? If so, did you make up those rules beforehand or develop them as you went along?

The rules came with the idea, they were damned near unavoidable. In part my background as a nerd of the first order (I've been role-playing for over 30 years) is to blame. I couldn't help but think of it as a magic system for a game and that meant I needed rules defining how everything worked. And, as a long-time Game-Master, I knew that the power of the delusional had to have both limits and come at a cost. Much of the background behind the story can be found on the wiki I created to help me keep track of everything:

3. I understand you did a lot of role-playing when you were younger, inventing your own adventures as Games Master. Do any of the characters or story lines in Beyond Redemption originate from those adventures?

Nope, though I have pillaged gaming sessions for stories in the past. You can find two of them, Death at the Pass, and Death and Dignity, available for free at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.

I will say that some of the characters in Beyond Redemption are based on people I know.

Wow, I’m guessing these people aren’t the sort to get on the wrong side of.

MichaelFletcherBook4. Several reviewers have suggested that Beyond Redemption is the darkest fantasy they’ve read. Were you ever tempted to turn the tables on grimdark with an ending filled with fluffy kittens and smiling babies?

Dark? That's crazy talk!

I had the title before writing the first word; I knew how it would end even if I had no idea how it would get there. The sequel, however, is all hugs and fluffy bunnies.

I never set out to write anything darker than anything else. I had this story idea and the rest pretty much decided itself. If you have a world where belief and delusion manifests as reality, I don't see how else it will turn out.

Yeah, sure, we could make it a utopia. Will we?

I think not.

5. I notice from your website that you used to be in a goth/rock/metal band. If Beyond Redemption were to be made into a film, would your band’s music make an appropriate soundtrack?

Most of our music, while metal, contained some bounce. The sound track for Beyond Redemption would—to my mind—need to be far darker. The one song we did that might be close was Epic For Manon.

Thank you again for your time!


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