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interview

anna MOCIKAT “…Often sci-fi is sterile and PG13. Behind Blue Eyes is dark, violent and very sexy. There’s plenty of bloody business and naked people doing things in there ….”

1. Tell us what Behind Blue Eyes is all about.

Behind Blue Eyes circles around its heroine Nephilim. She’s a cybernetically and genetically modified super-soldier who has been created to do all the dirty work for the mega-corporation she belongs to. Until she realizes one day that everything she had believed in was a lie and decides to take it up with the corporation and her creator.

Behind Blue Eyes is an action-driven sci-fi/cyberpunk story in the tradition of Ghost in the Shell and Deus Ex.

2. What separates Behind Blue Eyes from other science fiction series?

Often sci-fi is sterile and PG13. Behind Blue Eyes is dark, violent and very sexy. There’s plenty of bloody business and naked people doing things in there 😉

3. What can you tell us about the protagonists?

Nephilim is the main character of the story. She’s a killer cyborg, a human-machine hybrid designed to destroy. She and her kind are almost unstoppable, the perfect weapon. However, Nephilim’s dreams aren’t as empty as they’re supposed to be. She experiences human emotions and begins doubting the system that made her a killer. She’s a very strong character, not only physically where she can snap an iron bar with her hand, but also mentally. She’s the kind of person who will defend what she loves to her death.

Then there’s Jake, a 100% bio-human Nephilim falls in love with. He convinces her to join a rebellion against the system but as it turns out he’s not what he seems to be.

And finally, Finwick, who’s the most popular character among readers. Finwick is an IT nerd who works for the Guardian Angels and develops a very unhealthy crush on a killer cyborg and stumbles into the adventure of his life.

4. What can you tell us about the setting?

The story is set in Olympias City, a mega-city of the future and HQ of the Olympias Conglomerate, the mega-corp that controls the American continents, or rather what’s left of them. It’s in a constant cold war with the two other big global players, Rosprom which controls Europe and TongbuaXiang which controls Asia, Australia and Oceania. Those three send cyborg troops against each other to infiltrate and sabotage.

Olympias is a dystopia coming disguised as a utopia. Poverty and inequality have been eradicated and everyone is free to be whatever they wish to be. But only as long as they obey the mantras the corporation feeds them and never question the lifestyle of hedonism, consumerism and promiscuity. Relationships and any deeper bonds are forbidden and people who want to have something as simple as a family have to risk their lives and flee the “utopia”. But there is no escape as Nephilim and her kind will find and kill them.

5. Who are the antagonists in your book?

Nephilim’s antagonist is Metatron, the leader of the Guardian Angels, the unit she belongs to. He’s a ruthless, cunning, sadistic genius. Metatron is also the only one who knows the secret of who Nephilim really is. He’s obsessed with her and will do anything in his power to stop her from breaking free.

6. What genre is your book? Action? Cyberpunk? Or Dystopian?

All three of those. It certainly is a very dystopian sci-fi story that belongs into the cyberpunk sub-genre. A lot of it has been inspired by Ghost in the Shell. But it also is an adrenaline filled action ride.

7. What do you think appeals to audiences about cyberpunk?

In my opinion, cyberpunk is the most exciting and innovative sci-fi subgenre. It’s often dystopian by nature and deals with existential questions such as what makes us human and where the human stops and the machine begins. It’s the main theme in Ghost in the Shell and also an important question in Behind Blue Eyes. I see myself in the tradition of Japanese cyberpunk which goes deeply into philosophical topics while still being filled with action. Other authors follow the western school of William Gibson and others from his time. Often those works center around socio-economic questions.

I think cyberpunk is the genre that combines intellectual questions with action and cool tech, which makes it unique in sci-fi. But the genre is incredibly diverse and there’s a whole new generation of young authors who are redefining it.

8. What sort of themes does your book possess?

The central theme in Behind Blue Eyes is freedom: freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of thought. Is the perfect life possible without freedom?

9. What authors influenced you?

Besides Japanese anime and manga I think my biggest influences are George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Isaac Asimov.

10. Behind Blue Eyes: Fallen Angels is already out. What’s the plot of that book?

The first book, Behind Blue Eyes, can be seen as a stand-alone story but it’s also the prologue to a much bigger story, which only really starts with book 2, Fallen Angels. The first book doesn’t end in a way anyone would expect and therefore the story continues in a different way than most sequels would. In the end, the freedom Nephilim seeks might come in a different form than she had expected.

The whole story is designed to be six books and everything that has happened since book 1 leads to the grand finale in book 6.

Fallen Angels starts with horrible murders being committed in the perfect city and the victims are no one less than Guardian Angels, the seemingly invincible killer cyborgs. Someone is hunting them down one by one. But this is only the tip of the iceberg of a massive conspiracy in which the other mega-corporations are involved to destroy Olympias. This is only possible with the Guardian Angels gone.

11. Is Behind Blue Eyes III coming out any time soon?

Yes! It’s set for release on March 23rd and I’m very excited about it. BBE3 – War Games will continue the story of Fallen Angels. Nephilim will have to fight her most challenging and most personal battle yet – and she won’t get away without scratches.

12. What else can we look for from you?

I’m also the editor of Neo Cyberpunk, an anthology series in which each book features 15 cyberpunk short stories by 15 authors. Besides, I also have two more series going on, Shadow City and Cyber Squad. And I’m about to co-write a sci-fi series with my friend and bestselling author C.T. Phipps.

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