Hello, this is L.M. David. My blog guest today is Curran Geist, author of The Sity. With the upcoming start of the new season of True Blood, we were able to get Lafayette to do some juju. Must have work because Preston isn’t around, nothing has been tampered with and no complaints from the building manager. Then again, the tires are missing off my car…
Let’s begin the interview. Welcome Curran.
Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.
A. I just finished up my final semester of graduate school and I am hoping to be teaching full time this Fall. Writing fiction is my other passion in life and I have been writing since I was 12. I was home educated in a quaint town in Pennsylvania but now I live in NYC. I will always consider myself a PA man though, and I love the outdoors and nature. I’m about to reach my two-year anniversary with my wonderful wife who has been a rock for me when trying to write my first novel The Sity. A funny tidbit about myself is that I often get mistaken for Jimmy Fallon.
Q. Set in the genre of Science Fiction, what is The Sity about?
A. The Sity is really a mix of lots of different genres. I’d describe it kind of like a tossed salad. The lettuce is Sci-Fi, but there’s also horror, fantasy, and paranormal elements tossed into it. This adventure follows the ordeals of a pair of teenagers named Victor and Carina. These two protagonists are blessed with mysterious supernatural powers, which they channel to fight back against the oppression of the Kuljik, an alien race enslaving humans in an extraterrestrial city of sin. This novel is packed with action, romance, and shocking revelations. If you like tales of survival and vengeance, then I think you will dig it.
Q. Tell me about the character “Victor”.
A. Victor is a very complex young man. He’s been through intense physical and emotional ordeals, which have taken their toll. With his supernatural powers he struggles between a desire for revenge and also helping those he cares for. So much of his memory has been erased that it’s like he’s living with a huge hole in his heart and mind. This torments him and at the same time drives him to fulfill his destiny.
Q. What are the Kuljik?
A. The Kuljik are the race of extraterrestrial beings that rule the place called The Sity. At first, they may seem to be just a completely evil and twisted species with how they treat the humans there. However, not everything is what it seems. Without giving away spoilers, the Kuljik have a much bigger role in the universe beyond tormenting and exploiting humans.
Q. What makes Zaku sadistic?
A. What makes you think Zaku is sadistic? Yeah, Zaku does do a lot of terrible things in the book. Although his actions are partly due to greed, they’re also symbolic of the overall callous attitude that these Kuljik have towards humans. He doesn’t see his actions as evil, but rather that he has the right to treat humans in whatever way he pleases. His sadism mirrors the racist attitudes of slavery or even the way animals are sometimes abused by humans.
Q. Tell me about the character Carina.
A. Carina is a strong-willed young woman who is willing to stand up for herself and what she believes in. Like Victor, she is struggling to figure out where she came from and how she arrived in The Sity. She believes that she is descendent of a royal bloodline, and it is her obligation to live up to her family’s name and help humanity build anew. She is also blessed with supernatural powers, though why she has those powers may not be what she thinks.
Q. Why does Medtronik Corporation want to cleanse The Sity of humans?
A. I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t read the book. However, I will put it like this. It’s as if they feel they are untouchable and have been involved in things that they think only them and their cohorts know about. Things go amuck and they’re now afraid of the whole world knowing the truth. What do they do? In this case, they destroy all the evidence, but not until they’ve had one last glorious and demented hurrah.
Q. How far in the future does The Sity take place?
A. I am going to have to pass on answering that question. A key part of this story is that the main characters are still trying to piece together their pasts and their understanding of this strange world that they are trapped in. They don’t know what’s happened to Earth or what year it is. I want the readers to figure things out as the characters do. This is a question that will be revealed in later books.
Q. When creating The Sity, what was the hardest part to write?
A. When writing this novel, I became very invested in the fates of the characters. They are imaginary, but for me, they are like real people. It’s really difficult to write scenes where really bad things happen to really good people. This book deals with intense and harsh subject matter. Sometimes I cringe a little when I have to put my favorite characters through hell.
Q. What about The Sity will attract readers?
A. The Sity is packed with violent action and shocking revelations. However, beneath the grit and action, the novel is about people. It’s about people overcoming personal demons and difficult circumstances to understand themselves and their purposes in life. I think this – overcoming internal conflicts – is something that all readers can relate to. Hopefully, readers will become as invested in these characters as I have and will jump on board this rollercoaster ride through The Sity.
Q. If The Sity were being made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
It’s interesting that you’re asking me this. When I began writing this book, I definitely imagined it as movie. On my website, I am doing a whole series of posts on how The Sity should be “cast”. As for the main characters, I would have Logan Lerman play Victor. He was so great in 3:10 to Yuma. Also, Saoirse Ronan would be perfect for Carina. I would love for the big bad Captain Kreagor to be played by Michael Shannon. Just talking about this is making me excited. A movie needs to happen.
Q. Will there be a sequel to The Sity?
A. Yes, The Sity is the first book in a planned four book series. I am about halfway finished with the sequel!
Q. What is your current work in progress?
A. I’ve been spending most of my time working on the sequel to The Sity. I am very invested in these characters. I want to see their character arcs completed before I move on to other projects.
Q. The Sity is a self-published work. Why did you decide to do that?
A. Well, when I first began planning The Sity five years ago, I never meant to publish it. Finishing a novel was on my bucket list, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could achieve that goal and simply write something that I loved. When it was done, friends and family encouraged me to make it available to the general public. Being my first novel, The Sity series is very personal to me. Characters are inspired by people that are important in my life. I really wanted to have control over the content and its unique style, including the cover. I find it exciting to be part of the self-published community, and I’ve met some other really talented self-published authors.
Q. What advice to you have for writers who are just starting out?
A. I think it’s really important to remember why you started writing. If you worry too much about sales and what types of reviews you get, it can take all the fun out of it. Personally, I love the process of writing and creating new worlds, and making characters come to life. Hopefully, people will love my novel, but it’s impossible to please everyone. With that being said, don’t take criticism personally. Listen to feedback, reflect on it, and use it to refine your writing and to make your future work better.
Curran Geist grew up in the quaint town of Schwenksville, PA. As a home educated student, Curran often lived within books and his vibrant imagination allowed him to escape to fictional worlds beyond the tiny town where he was raised. Writing is and has always been Curran’s passion. By the age of 12, he had already begun writing novels. As a teenager, he won multiple youth poetry competitions and started his own independent art newsletter entitled Inbetween Dreams. While studying Religion at Gettysburg College, Curran participated in numerous poetry slams.
Human rights has also always been very important to Curran as evidenced through his experience in the Americorps, with Amnesty International, and at the Museum of Tolerance New York. In writing his first self-published novel THE SITY, Curran Geist has merged his love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with his belief in combatting social injustices.
Curran Geist is currently getting his Master’s Degree to be an Elementary Teacher at Hunter College in New York City.