Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Interview with author Andrew Garvey:
MIND CONTROL EMPIRE
1. What inspired you to write your book? I had been collecting information from the start of the 2000’s from the media concerning phrasing, word choices, intonations of those word choices, meter, and physical gestures. One of the first things I noticed about military conflicts was that in certain media outlets, allied soldiers always “died” whereas enemies were “killed.” I did a lot of thinking and research into neurolinguistic programming because of that, and it became clear that there were lots of methods for swaying audiences including what’s termed the “Clinton Thumb,” the “new direction/nude erection” phrase, simple directives repeatedly given between pauses in speeches … and then 9/11 hit, but I kept paying attention. Much like the brainwashing of cults and the military, everything followed a three-tiered approach to coercing compliance from the populace. First was the initial shock and removal of normalcy, followed by the exhausting repetition from every political corner that such carnage would absolutely happen again, followed by repetition of simple, easily understood orders, like, “Support our troops.” This pattern is represented throughout time, on every continent when coercing a population to act. I wanted to people to see what I was seeing, and that eventually culminated in this novel.
2. What is it about? Mind Control Empire is a story of a near-future, post-American corporate landscape in which the main character, Dr. Donald Isaacson, exists and works in the military/intelligence community that survived the economic collapse. An old buddy of his, also working in covert hypnosis and brainwashing, is found to be the perpetrator of the deaths of ten senior stewards in the Mental Stewardship program that seeks to calm the moods of the populace and motivate them to action when they need to be mobilized. Because of those deaths, a manhunt is begun, philosophies are challenged, power is examined, and more lives and minds are lost. Ultimately, conscience is shown to not be a human weakness, and Isaacson and humanity continue seeking a new, more humane understanding of responsible control.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? I would hope that as we travel this path we’re making into the future, we don’t allow total digital connectivity to steal our thoughts or our free will.
4. What advice do you have for writers? I don’t care if this is a buzz kill; I totally believe the following: The vast majority of people who want to write books will never get published. They may finish half a book, get a single rejection and quit. Unless you write because you have to, because there is no choice for you but to create worlds and populate them from your perch outside of time, you’re going to have a very hard time of it indeed. Every fear about your writing and every rejection you receive needs to be something you consume to fuel the journey. Make your frustration and anger force out perfect sentences against a Universe screaming belittlement at you. And never forget that humankind can be kind, loving, and wonderful, and it’s your duty to express that in the same way that a single candle cannot be extinguished by a world of dark. If you’re meant for writing, you can endure, but you will change on the inside.
5. Where do you think the publishing industry is heading? For one, science fiction exists all around us and something new and amazing pops up every day. Using your cell phone as a mirror is still science fiction to me, even if it’s used in literary fiction. Same with hoverboards, CRISPR-Cas9, 3D printed organs, synthetic blood, wounded warriors-turned-cyborg, stem cell therapies … you name it. So as much derision as science fiction is treated with, it will be the longest-lasting genre in human history as long as no one starts dropping nukes, genetic bullets, or exotic prion diseases. Publishing itself can do what it wants; I’ll just stick to what I know and follow it into the future.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book? I didn’t have many challenges for this one. The world itself was stolen from a previously unfinished manuscript of mine; the main character was an amalgam of me and two other people. Norman Mailer had an aptly titled book, The Spooky Art, and I have always been amazed by how spooky writing actually is. Threads from the beginning magically resolved themselves into tapestries seemingly without my input. Plot holes filled themselves. This book was a natural outgrowth from my experience of having written almost a dozen other manuscripts and having some semblance of how to structure and populate, but in large part, it was almost being written by someone else. Perhaps my subconscious? Maybe the coffee for wit and the wine for patience
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? People should buy what they’re drawn towards, period. But I think that during this particular month at the tail end of the shameful, embarrassing Presidential campaigning, you might find out a whole lot about the trained public behavior and speech patterns your candidate paid money to learn.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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