Name: Dr. Dale A. Grove
City in which you reside: Hagerstown
Day job: Senior technical product developer. I invent new products for US Silica.
Book title: “Outlier Revolutions”
Genre: Action-adventure/science fiction/paranormal/some romance
Synopsis: A transporter battles for evolutionary dominance in a frigid ice world.
Price: Paperback: $14; Kindle: $2.99
This is your fifth book, what do you learn about yourself each time you write?
When I first started writing, I wrote, edited and published almost entirely by myself. That was a huge mistake. After hiring my first editor, I practically rewrote an entire book twice. Yikes! A good critique group would have caught many of the plot, emotional, POV (point of view), and setting changes that existed well before it was necessary to spend so much time writing it over and over again.
Now, I actively seek the help and advice of other writers in the Frederick (Md.) Writers Salon and Western Maryland Writer Meetup groups. My writing has grown stronger, and I’ve learned to become a better leader while emotionally detaching myself from my work. Like the character of Dry, I’ve become a better person, and I’ve met many people in the surrounding area that I would not have met.
What inspired your latest novel?
I wrote this book because I wanted to create an action-adventure, science-fiction story with punch featuring a heroine who overcame her inner demons. All too often these books tend to be dominated by male leads, not this time. Of all the characters in the book, Dry was the least likely to serve in the hero role and could have easily become the villain. Instead, she discovered her humanity and wound up saving the world.
The story opens with 1470 or Dry, who is a woman, telling the story through her eyes. Who is she?
1470 is a delusional construct of what Dry wants out of life. If she can’t live in the real world, she can conjure a reality that suits her need for a loving, supportive family and explains why she hears the intrusive voices and emotions of others.
By serving as an alien surveyor, she communicates with her family at large through a quantum entangled communicator; the alien persona also answers the question why she differs from everyone else. Early on the story hints at Dry’s mental health issues. John, her Outlier transport trainee and later her adopted son, never hears the voices coming from the quantum communicator. Slim, an Outlier leader and later Dry’s romantic interest, reveals Dry’s past to her in thoughts and offers to get her psychological help.
The truth is Dry suffers from delusions brought on by her tortured past and psychic ability. She’s stuck. The extra voices in her head haunt her, and she often consumes alcohol to drown them out and wash away her sorrows.
At the beginning, Dry resides within a cocoon of her own choosing. It is only when she confronts her past and learns to control her abilities that she moves forward. Dry undergoes a major metamorphosis during the story, and by the end, she becomes whole. Obvious symbolism is being used in naming her craft the Chrysalis.
What do you enjoy specifically about writing sci-fi?
Sci-fi and fantasy represents what the world could be, who might exist in a futuristic civilization, and how our best dreams and worst nightmares may unfold. The normal rules of our society can be smashed to smithereens. It is the ultimate outside of the box (there’s a box?) experience. It is also a way for authors to convey hidden messages without being preachy.
What I like about sci-fi is that there’s often a bigger message. What do you feel is the bigger message in your novel?
Just because someone is raised under difficult circumstances, does not bind that person to that destiny. Take Dry. Her past could have easily made her the villain, but instead she transforms into the ultimate, bad-ass hero. Meanwhile, the villain, Radcliff, has a loving family, a father that he looks up to, and a mother that does everything for her children, yet the deaths of his parents bear such deep emotional scars that he became corrupted while gathering medical funds to save his girlfriend.
Both Dry and Radcliff are powerful Outliers with evolutionary psychic abilities, but they treat the influx of thoughts in entirely different manners. Dry desperately wants the external voices to stop, while Radcliff absorbs the commercial intelligence of others for his own financial gain. Unlike Dry, the pettiness, greed, lust and envy emotions of others rub off on Radcliff. A gift can either be used for the good of many or serve the devices of a few.
As a product developer, what does writing give you that your day job doesn’t?
Even as a product developer, there are limits as to how far your creativity can go. Companies constantly decide how to invest and shuffle their R&D portfolio versus what new products are being delivered. In writing, there are no funding restraints. Stories are only limited by the author’s imagination and writing skills.
Tell me about your next project.
I have two projects in the works. First, the Frederick Writers Salon has released its latest anthology,” Intersections.” The team lead by Anna O’Brien did a wonderful job pulling this together. What makes this collection of short stories unique is that each story occurs on a First Saturday event in Frederick, Md., and that each story intersects with at least one other story. My entry, “Only Together,” is a short story prequel to “Loose Strings,” where Wolfe Sterling’s parents are bought back together by two Venetian aliens. The story features two simultaneous romances along with the promise that the destined ones will be created from their respective unions.
My next novella will be “Furniture for Sale.” It’s the story about an elderly widower whose reality is not what it seems. I got the inspiration for this story while visiting my parents in an assisted living home.
Where can readers purchase your novel?
Like “Gray Maneuvers,” “Gray Extraction,” “ELIZA” and “Loose Strings,” “Outlier Revolutions” may be purchased in both paperback and kindle forms on Amazon and Goodreads. My website, www.newdrofscifi.com, contains a variety of free short stories as well.
— Crystal Schelle, Lifestyle editor