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Interview: Valmore Daniels, Author of Forbidden the Stars

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With a deep love for travel and adventure, is it any wonder that Valmore Daniels is able to craft a story of adventure, sure to hook readers from start to finish, with his latest novel, Forbidden the Stars?  Among his travels, Mr. Daniels has lived in several places, including the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and dozens of points in between.  

In addition to travel, Mr. Daniels has expanded his career in various areas of work from legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, to human resources and retail business management.

You can visit Valmore Daniels at his website: www.ValmoreDaniels.com

Please tell us a bit about your book: Forbidden The Stars – characters, plot, etc.

Forbidden The Stars is a look at events surrounding the end of the Space Age and the beginning of the Interstellar Age. More specifically, it examines the effects on the people directly involved in discovering faster than light technology and how the awareness of interstellar civilizations will affect Earth and its nations.

Captain Justine Turner, NASA’s youngest female astronaut, journeys to Pluto, where she and her crew discover signs of an alien civilization.

Alex Manez, who accompanies his parents on a survey mission in the asteroid belt, is hurtled through space at near light speeds when a new element is discovered and reacts with the asteroid.

On Luna Station, a criminal mastermind, Chow Yin, intercepts communications between Pluto and Earth, and quickly makes plans to seize control of the new technology.

On Earth, Michael Sanderson has to juggle the politics of the discovery between two powerful nations, deal with the interplanetary war brewing, and at the same time spearhead the search for Alex Manez and the mysterious element that began the chain of events.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

It would be Captain Justine Turner. Personally, I have always had a keen interest in space exploration; in her character, I have imbued that sense of adventure, discovery and hope for the future. She’s made sacrifices for her passion and career, but it is people like her that help humankind move forward in our evolutionary stages.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

The entire book, Forbidden The Stars, came about for this exact reason. When I watched the Space Shuttle Columbia launch its maiden voyage into space (nearly three decades ago) my first thought was, How would I, a teenager, get on that space shuttle? The answer, hijack it. And with that kernel of an idea, I began to plot out this end of an era space adventure.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

The best environment for me to write is in absolute seclusion. If I can minimize any distractions, I can completely immerse myself in the narrative and, in a sense, exist in the fictional universe. Of course, with a busy household, finding that perfect setting is sometimes impossible. As an alternative, I’ll put on headphones and play my collection of mp3’s.

What are you reading right now?

At the moment, I’m working my way through Brian Herbert’s and Kevin J. Anderson’s continuation of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. I think they have done a wonderful job of maintaining the spirit of the original series.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

My favorite science fiction authors would include Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Larry Niven, Frank Herbert, and Robert J. Sawyer. Of those, my favorite works would be the Dune series, the Foundation series, the Rama series, Stranger in a Strange Land, Ringworld, and the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

The series of books that first got me hooked on science fiction was the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. I would have loved the opportunity to express to him how his wonderful books changed my outlook on fiction, and instilled in me a spirit of wonder and hope for the future of humanity.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

I have three favorite memories: my wedding day, the birth of my son, and the birth of my daughter. However, standing on a snow-bridge less than 400 miles from the North Pole is a close runner up.

Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.

Barbeque with family on a hot summer day – nothing can compare!

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

I love reading most of all, followed closely by watching movies or listening to music. Sometimes they say a change is a good as a rest, and our family will take weekend trips to explore neighboring cities. Whenever we get the opportunity, we travel to other countries.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would love to retire in the Bahamas. The weather, the heat, and the friendly people are a perfect mix. I love the feel of that white sand on my bare feet.

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

I’ve never been disappointed with an Isaac Asimov novel; and he’s written enough books to keep me going for a while.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

My primary dream has been to write full-time; my secondary dream is to visit every country on Earth at least once. Both are works in progress.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

My worst guilty pleasure is a bag of corn chips and a chocolate bar. I know they are bad for me, but I love the combination of salty followed by sweet.

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Never give up. Ever.

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