“Why I don’t engage in terrestrial politics” – an interview with author Ámaris Wenceslas1. October 2018 Off By administrator
We wanted to know from 26-year old singer-turned-sci-fi-author Ámaris Wenceslas what inspired her for her space opera The Chariots of Orion, and what kind of books the self-declared nerd enjoys.
How did you became a sci-fi author?
I’ve always loved astronomy and science fiction! When I was little, I wanted to become an astronomer, or particle-physicist. As we know, that part didn’t work out, but the least I could do was use that passion for a novel. I’ve marvelled about how an alien civilisation could be like on my blog, and I thought that it might be good material for a novel.
How did that wide, complex story behind “Orion” evolve? Did being a songwriter help you create the story?
It’s a funny question because I don’t really know how it evolved. This world just suddenly unfolds and you first take notes, then it becomes quite a pile of notes, then you write the first couple of chapters, and the more you write, the wider the story grows. I wanted the setting for the book to be realistic, and the civilisation to be a community that is slightly similar to us, not some crazy monsters with tentacles. So I kind of built that world based on logic; I asked myself “Is this realistic?”. Sometimes I’ve felt a bit like a researcher, climbing through an ancient city and exploring more and more about the city the further he walks. A bit like Indiana Jones exploring a temple, I guess.
As for my music, I guess it hardly inspires me for what I’m writing as an author, most of the time it’s the other way round, and the book inspires me for music.
For “Orion”, you have done a lot of researches before even starting to write, even sought the help of scientists to let the planet and its civilisation seem realistic. Wasn’t that a lot of work?
I think it’s always a bit of work, trying to, you know, define such a complex world. The more a world unfolds, the more questions will appear, the more details claim to be defined, and of course you want them to be realistic. You start with one planet, suddenly you got several, there are several countries, several languages, several cultures, all of which have their traditions, their history, their customs. For me, the most difficult thing was to calculate the astronomical and physical attributes of the planet, to make it as realistic as possible. But I’m glad I had great people, great scientists, that were willing to help me with that task.
What can the reader expect in “Orion” 1?
I guess it’s not the classic, you know, laser sabre, spaceship story, although there are a couple of spaceships in the novel, don’t worry. You can expect a journey to a highly advanced civilisation in outer space, wars between extraterrestrial worlds, and, I hope, good entertainment.
Why did you choose the genre of science fiction and fantasy?
Again, I don’t think that this is something you choose, but something that needs to evolve on your mind; I think it’s the story that chooses the genre, not the author.
What do you think about subjects like astronomy or Ancient Astronaut Theory that keep appearing in the story, are you into these things, too?
Absolutely! I’ve loved astronomy since I’ve been a child. I think it’s just fascinating. As for the Ancient Astronaut Theory, of course, it’s inspired me a bit for the story of “Orion”; I think it’s pretty cool. I’m not a U.F.O. hunter or something, but I think it’s stunning to think that extraterrestrials could have visited the earth in the past, even though, of course, there isn’t any proof. I reckon I’m more realistic- and skeptic- minded then some of the readers might think, and I’m very skeptic whenever I hear such theories (laughs).
The story of “Orion” features political melting pots. Are you interested into politics?
Actually, I don’t get engaged with terrestrial politics, you know (laughs). The planet on which the story takes place doesn’t have anything to do with the Earth. But I thought that it’d be more realistic if an alien civilisation faces political schemes as well, instead of just fighting each other in spaceships.
Let’s be honest – do you believe in extraterrestrials?
I am absolutely convinced that we’re not alone in the universe, but it might be difficult to get in contact with another civilisation. Perhaps they use completely different ways of communicating, maybe they want to be left alone, and who knows if they would be peaceful? In “Orion”, there are a lot of different species, some of which are not interested into getting involved with humans, and some of them wanting to destroy the Earth. I guess that there could be lots of different species in the universe, and we probably shouldn’t get too close to all of them.
On your recent album, Aquamarine, you dedicated one of your songs, Taunt, to the game Hearthstone. Do you play games a lot?
I really like Hearthstone, although I don’t have time to play it a lot, and the game just somehow inspired me for the song. I also really like chess. Maybe it just shows that I’m a bit of a nerd (laughs).
What kind of books do you enjoy?
Utopia by Thomas Morus is one of my favourite. I also do love surreal science fiction and fantasy. Another book I loved is What if by Randall Munroe, I love that combination of science and entertainment. And of course, I’m a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft, especially the Cthulu series.
Find Ámaris’ personal (sci-fi) blog here:
Interview by judith, editor and publicist.