Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Ted Weber has pursued writing and music since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. Trapped at home during the “Snowmageddon” of 2010, he transformed those interests into novel writing, and has been honing his skills ever since. His first published novel, a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press), was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first science fiction, fantasy, or horror novel. The first sequel, The Wrath of Leviathan, is coming out in Sep. 2018. He is working on the final installment of the trilogy, among other things, and seeks a home for an alternate history thriller titled Born in Salt, about a rural youth forced into terrible choices by a fascist government.
By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist for a non-profit organization and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents.
Wolf: Welcome to Wolf Notes. Sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of traveling. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
Ted: Crispy mealworms and crickets in Thailand. (Mealworms were passable but crickets were too chitinous)
Wolf: Can’t say I’ve tried either of those. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?
Ted: Depends on the situation. In an interstellar battle, it would be hard to stop the Death Star. Here on earth, a suit of powered armor, like the Iron Man Mk. III. If confined to current tech, the Lorica suits are pretty cool. Combine that with an assault rifle and a katana. And in a zombiepocalypse, you’d need something low-tech, quiet, and durable, like a flanged mace or a crowbar.
Wolf: What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Ted: Let them enter a relationship with the man/woman of their dreams.
Wolf: What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Ted: In Born in Salt, Ben and Rachel are arrested by Internal Security and broken by months of physical and psychological torture.
Wolf: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Ted: Time travel. Definitely.
Wolf: Take me with you when you go. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?
Ted: Lucky for me, I actually have a bug-out bag! If I were to narrow it to five: combat knife, water bottle, survival blanket, waterproof matches, roll of duct tape.
Wolf: Cool. You’re all ready for a cataclysm like the on in Star Touched. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Ted: That’s a tough one since I put a lot of thought into all my characters, and they are all unique. Perhaps Kiyoko, the main character in Wrath of Leviathan, is the most interesting. She lives in her own version of reality, and can divine the future by interpreting the shapes in her Pokémon cereal. I like Waylee, the main character in Sleep State Interrupt, a lot too. She demonstrates that people with mental illnesses can be just as gifted, or more so, than “normal” people.
Wolf: I really liked Sleep State Interrupt. What story are you working on now?
Ted: I’m writing the final book of the BetterWorld trilogy, in which a small group of hacktivists attempt to bring down a giant corporation that controls the flow of information.
Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Ted: If it were up to me, I’d be writing 24 hours/day! Obviously, this is far from feasible. I like to travel (unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity lately), long hikes in the woods, spying on birds and other critters, and pretty much anything that involves being on the water.
Wolf: Should people be concerned about climate change?
Ted: Yes! And I say this as a practicing scientist. Go to https://www.skepticalscience.com/ and https://climate.nasa.gov/ (until Trump has it purged) for more.
And here are some things you can do: https://www.ucsusa.org/what-can-i-do-about-climate-change
Wolf: Thanks. I’ll do that now.
You can connect with Ted Weber through these links:
Web site (for Sleep State Interrupt): http://savethereefs.wix.com/sleepstateinterrupt