When an armed patrol crosses the border into Wycliff District, the Wycliff Council sends Corr Syl to investigate and recommend a response. Corr soon learns that spies have infiltrated his district, and already many lives are at risk. He catches a glimpse of something truly evil, and with no time to spare, must choose between a safe response that might fail, and a sure response that might start a global war.
Question: What have you published recently?
Fiction: “Corr Syl the Warrior” (ISBN: 978-1484989890)
Nonfiction: “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” (ISBN: 978-1480096509)
I also contribute articles on wildlife conservation for my website, local news media, government agencies, and others. For instance, I just wrote a walking tour of a local stream habitat for schoolchildren.
Question: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?
My middle and high school teachers encouraged me to write. After high school, my education and subsequent careers in science and business required a great deal of writing. I published several nonfiction science books and hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed science journals and scientific conference proceedings. Learning to write fiction has been a stimulating challenge.
Question: Why switch to fiction?
Much of my work in science focuses on desert vegetation. Houses and roads are steadily obliterating the sites I study. As the vegetation habitat is lost, the wildlife declines. In my state, public agencies report that over half of native wildlife species are tending toward extinction. Land use planners could avoid many of the human impacts on vegetation. With a novel, I can reach a wider audience than the scientists who read my technical work.
Question: Where can we find your published writing?
Amazon now, and other bookstores in a few weeks. Google Scholar has a more complete list of my published work, and my website “About” page has an exhausting list.
Question: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?
Feed the cats, make coffee, write, exercise, feed birds and ducks, do a little landscape maintenance, write some more, read.
Question: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them
Corr Syl is a talented young warrior in a society dominated by much older individuals. Wanting to avoid responsibility, but always willing to help, Corr agrees to investigate a murder and a minor invasion by a dangerous species. Corr’s preference would be to go on a long trip with another warrior named Rhya Bright. Instead, he becomes a key figure in a conflict and must see it through. Corr likes to have fun with friends, likes to tell stories, and wants to be a comedian. He has trouble with timing, however, and his jokes tend to elicit groans instead of laughs.
Rhya Bright, a warrior in training, and even younger than Corr Syl, is attracted to Corr. She hides her interest because of pride and determination to form intimate relationships only with equals, not superiors. Among her martial skills, Rhya excels in archery and battle strategy. Rhya has a hidden compulsion to protect weaker individuals. She becomes involved in the same conflict as Corr, and the two become very close as they work to solve a great problem. Rhya is a good dancer and a great conversationalist. I would be delighted to spend all my time within range of her cheery disposition.
I like several of the other characters. I modeled Ralph Mäkinen after a close friend who had a good heart, a great sense of humor, and who was the All City Amateur Golden Gloves boxing champion. Allysen Olykden is the older but beautiful, wise, and sympathetic friend we would all like to have. I also like Aaron Li for beneath a dark calculating exterior, Li is a dedicated humanitarian. And I could go on.
Question: do you find you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help you or bother you?
I am interested in the methods used by other writers. I am often impressed with the new ideas and techniques they use to compose scenes and handle interactions. For me, looking behind the writing curtain adds an extra dimension that usually enriches the story.
Question: What music do you listen to, while writing?
I like many types of music, but I prefer silence when I write.
Question: What do you eat while writing?
I sip coffee, but take a break when I eat.
What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Water. Someone said that drinking lots of water would help me keep my weight down. Seems to work.
What is your favourite cartoon character?
Judge Doom the antagonist in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Doom is motivated and witty. But, what does he do for fun. Perhaps he golfs, bowls, or reads?
What is your favourite movie of all time?
I liked the Blues Brothers, but have to pick “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” After both lead characters are tortured, beaten and wounded in various ways, Gina Davis, staggering, dripping blood, eyes black, crawls into a car shakily steered by Samuel Jackson who is just as messed up. As Jackson weaves away, he asks Davis if she is all right, and she manages, “Are you stupid?” My kind of humour.
What do you like to do for fun or just to relax?
I like to chase animals around with my camera, but I also like to go dancing, drinking, and camping. I have read thousands of books. I like movies and plays, and I am a fan of Red Dwarf, West Wing, and Dexter.
Garry Rogers has a PhD in Physical Geography. He taught at Columbia University and UCLA, and currently serves as President of Agua Fria Open Space Alliance, Inc. He has published three nonfiction books, and hundred of articles in peer-reviewed science journals and conference proceedings. He is currently working on a sequel to his debut novel Corr Syl the Warrior, and second volume on Arizona Wildlife.