Tabernacle of Legion
is one great read! I found it to be less of a
science fiction story and much more of a story
of space exploration. True, it does have elements
in it that have not happened that lend to the
science fiction category, but mostly it shows
how small earth is in the universe, and with a
few well placed “what if” questions,
expands all kind of possibilities to the reader.
One personal reason I liked it, the story stands
on its own merit. It does not rely on references
of any other book or movie for references. There
are no movie analogies. Above all, Kevin Schillo
has achieved every writers dream. He wrote this
book in a way that through words, you can visualize
everything happening. It was so good, that while
I had originally planned on reading it in two
weeks, I ended up reading in a day over one week.
To all fans of space exploration, I recommend
has taken time out of his extremely busy schedule
to grant this exclusive interview to give some
insight on the making of his first book.
First, congratulations on a well written book.
How did you come up with the idea of the story?
thought about this story for a very long time.
And it did not come to me all at once. I went
through many iterations of the story I wanted
to tell. Years ago I wrote enough material for
at least several books and wrote it all very quickly.
But then one day I took a more critical view of
what I had and was appalled at the poor quality
of it. The story, the characters, plot, all of
it was beyond terrible and I would have just embarrassed
myself if I had released that. I ended up throwing
out everything I had written and started from
scratch. I thought my next iteration was far better,
but unfortunately I found it also be too poorly
written when I examined it more critically. This
process repeated several more times before I finally
came up with the story that became The Tabernacle
always knew that I wanted to write a hard sci-fi
story. This has always been my favorite genre,
which I partly attribute to my desire to pursue
a career in aerospace engineering.
also feel that hard sci-fi is underrepresented
in science fiction as a whole. Popular works of
science fiction like Star Trek and Star Wars have
next to no respect for actual science or engineering.
As an aerospace engineer, I can’t help but
watch such shows and movies and be appalled at
the horrible science presented onscreen. Some
argue that scientific accuracy can be sacrificed
for the sake of good storytelling, but I don’t
believe this needs to be the case. I feel that
the real reason why the science in movies and
TV shows is often so terrible is simply because
the people who make such pieces of entertainment
rarely, if ever, having any science background
at all, and have never bothered to learn about
thing that I particularly hate in science fiction
are aliens that have nonsensical goals. Too often,
you see alien invasion stories where the aliens
have no justifiable reason to invade Earth. What
I really wanted was to tell a hard sci-fi story
about contact with aliens with highly advanced
technology and explore what their motivations
might be and what, if anything, they might want
The story takes several twists and turns (a couple
of shockers as a matter of fact), did you have
this all planned out, or did the story develop
those turns on its own?
A combination. When I finally settled on
the story I wanted to tell in The Tabernacle of
Legion, I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted
to happen in this book and what will happen in
the sequels. But there were a handful of things
that I thought of during the writing process that
I had not originally planned in advance. None
of these change the final outcome of the story,
but I hope that they enhance the reading experience.
you read my book carefully, you’ll see foreshadowing
of what will happen in the story and some things
that will happen in the sequels. There is one
line uttered by a certain character (I won’t
say who it is or what they say) that foreshadows
a major twist that I have planned for the sequel.
I thought up this particular twist while I was
in South Africa and nearing completion of The
Tabernacle of Legion. I hope that readers will
enjoy what I have in store for them.
As I read it, I really could not see any writing
style that I have read in the past. Who would
you credit as your biggest influence as to how
you wrote this?
If I had to pick one author, I would have
to say Stephen Baxter. He is by no means perfect,
but I love his books. I would definitely say he’s
one of the best hard sci-fi authors out there.
Some of the scenarios lend to things that have
not happened yet. Having said that, do you see
us making the technological advances mentioned
in your book within our lifetime?
want to believe that all of the technologies I
envision in my novel will become a reality in
my lifetime. But I have a large amount of cynicism
to counterbalance the optimism I express in my
novel. You always hear about all of the incredibly
technological advances that are being made all
the time, but it could be argued that for much
of history, this has not been the case for space
travel. For example, many of the NASA engineers
who worked on the Apollo program believed they
would work on the first manned Mars mission. None
of them could have imagined they would not come
anywhere close to achieving this over the ensuing
decades. But I can’t allow myself to believe
that it will be like this forever. I have to believe
that brilliant engineers will one day return astronauts
to the Moon and that humans will walk on Mars
in the near future. This is why I was compelled
to pursue a career in engineering and help push
the boundaries of spaceflight technologies. I
will not sit idly by and hope that others will
create the future in my novel. I will help make
it a reality.
Do you have anything else you are working on that
you plan on releasing that our MYSHELF readers
would want to read?
in the process of writing my next novel, “The
Wayfarer.” It’s another hard sci-fi
novel about contact with highly intelligent alien
life. This novel is set closer in the future and
has less speculative technology than what I have
in The Tabernacle of Legion. I have already posted
the first chapter of this book in my “Future
Scope” anthology on Amazon. I hope to complete
the book in a few more months. I am also writing
the sequel to The Tabernacle of Legion, which
I also hope to complete soon.
Lastly, if your readers get one thing out of your
book, what would you want it to be?
would want them to enjoy reading my book and be
inspired by the future I envision.
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