As Wings Unfurl is Doweyko's second novel and another exciting tale that captures the reader and leaves you wanting more. In a short interview, I found out exactly why Doweyko's novels explore the possibilities of alien life, and exactly what is next for this Sci Fi author.
The creative spirit needs an outlet. When I was in high school, a vocational test showed my aptitude equally suited for the arts and the sciences. My father pointed out I could be a scientist and always dabble in arts, but the other way around would be difficult. Now that I'm a retired scientist, I've embraced the arts, both painting and writing.
Q: The Overused Question: eReader or Paperback?
There's nothing like the smell of paper fungus.
Q: If you could pick the brains of any author, who would it be and why?
Asimov, hands down. He was once asked what it was like to know everything. His answer: terrifying.
Q: If you could recommend one book to me - other than your own - what would it be?
I really like Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld (the entire series). Farmer had an incredible grasp of history, religion, cultures and biology, and all that shows up brilliantly in his writing.
Q: Is writing a full-time affair, or do you fit it in with a ‘day job’?
Full time. A moment doesn't go by when I'm not thinking about a plot point, a character's motivation, editing, marketing, and the next story. Once or twice a week I'll take a break and teach college chemistry.
Q: Are you a Sci Fi buff in words and film?
I'm afraid I'm a big film fan. I'm always looking for the next best sci-fi movie, especially in regards to real science extrapolated. Few movies make the grade, in particular, because of the huge advances in computer-generated special effects. I think many films rely too much on special effects, at the cost of poor plots and vapid characters.
Q: On that note - what’s your favourite Sci Fi film?
Dune (based on the novel by Frank Herbert). The first version to make the big screen is my favorite. Having read the books, the inner thoughts and motivations in that story are the story. Critics weren't impressed, but who cares about them?
Q: Best Sci Fi book ever written?
Im working on it.
Q: If you could be anything, what would it be?
Pretty happy with what I am. As a scientist, I've been able to design drugs (Thomas Alva Edison Award for the discovery of Sprycel, an anticancer drug on the market today). As an artist I have won a number of awards for my work in oils. As a writer, my first two books were both recognized with awards in the Royal Palm Literary Competitions (Florida's premier writing contests). I teach chemistry and run on the beaches. It doesn't get better.
Q: Can you remember back to the first time you wanted to write a novel and what your
It was in high school. I was a victim of Man from Uncle and James Bond, so I wrote a little novel about spies. It was terrible, but a heck of a lot of fun.
anti-cancer drug’. Tell me, how exactly do you find yourself in this position?
I worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb as a molecular modeler. Before this I spent many years as a chemist researching bio-active molecules. At BMS I wrote software that related activity data for a molecule back to its three-dimensional structure. I worked with a group of biologists and medicinal chemists on a variety of projects, one of which led to the discovery of a new anti-cancer drug.
Q: My professional background includes clinical trials. If the drug made it that far, how
involved were you in the clinical trial process?
The clinical trials are carried out by separate groups. I took it only as far as molecular structure and providing insight into how the molecule interacts with its biological target protein.
Q: Your bio suggests science is a large part of who you are, and this continues through
your writing. Has science always played a leading role in your life?
As I mentioned earlier, it was a decision reached in high school, that science offered the opportunity to learn how things worked. As a result I adopted a logical mindset that I applied to a number of challenges throughout my life: from repairing a 1965 VW Beetle to fixing a 42" flat panel TV, nothing stands in the way of a logical solution. These days the level of technology we find ourselves surrounded by is daunting. I believe we have created a world of technology that few if any can understand.
Q: The characters in your novel, Algorithm come across alien life, and again in you
upcoming novel, As Wings Unfurl. Is alien life something that interests you and why?
The themes running through both novels are pointed at the biggest question mankind will never answer: Why? Aliens, mythological beasts, eerie planets, they are all props designed to lead the reader into questioning his/her existence and role.
Q: If you could travel through time, what year would you travel to?
One second before the Big Bang.
astronaut as a child?
I was hoping to be one of the astronauts chosen for a Mars mission, but that was years ago. And here we go again, but now they're talking about one-way trips. There are two sides to a big trip in space: 1) the thrill of it all, and 2) the extreme boredom. Having gotten older and wiser, I think I'll wait for a flying saucer to come by and offer a trip.
Q: Do you think we will ever populate another planet?
That might happen in the next couple of hundred years, maybe a thousand, if we haven't decimated ourselves by then.
Q: During my research, I came across a small mention of you writing horror. Do you find you enjoy writing within several genres?
One of my faves is Twightlight Zone. Not necessarily horror of the big and ugly kind, but rather one that is psychological. Writing shouldn't be confined by someone's idea of genre. This genre thing is curious. Man is forever naming things, and classifying them. It's what we do.
Q: As Wings Unfurl, originally titled Angela’s Apple, won best pre-published novel in 2014 in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. What did you find most rewarding about this?
It was a great honor to be recognized by my peers. The RPLA consists of other writers, many of which have a real career in writing.
Q: What can we expect from your upcoming novel, As Wings Unfurl?
This story is one of redemption and love. A twenty-something Vietnam vet with a missing foot, addiction, and depression finds himself without a purpose, waiting for nothing and hoping it arrives soon. Angela shows up. She claims to be his guardian angel. She is far from that. The story moves quickly to one of survival, when both are faced with a conspiracy which could doom mankind. Elements of theology are mixed with hard science fiction. Add to this the introduction of a very unusual character whose existence on this planet is hinted at throughout history.
Q: Have you got another story on the horizon?
Henry the Last – is currently being edited. Henry is a Lakota Sioux native American. He is also an android entirely made of metal, plastic, tubes and wires, except for one little thing, his human brain. An asteroid strike and a viral outbreak that followed left few humans alive -- those that were lucky to have their brains encased in impervious titanium skulls. At least that's what the news said. Henry will discover the truth, but in no easy way. He, his ghost of a wife, a robot aide and an alien visitor will take a roller-coaster ride through a post-apocalyptic world where nothing is as it seems.
You can get your copy of As Wings Unfurl and Algorithm by clicking the below links.