This gritty, graphically violent, sci-fi novel is the first part of a trilogy, detailing the demise of European power and the rise of African might, all thanks to an individual named Ramsus Zephyr. It’s both satire and social commentary on the ideas of race, religion, and morality in today’s America.
About the author:
The author is an Army brat, who was born in Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, North Carolina on October 7th, 1977. He has lived on both coasts of the U.S., but has spent most of his life in the region of the U.S. known as “The South”. Thus if you ask the author where he is from, he will normally respond with either “everywhere” or “the South”.
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The author is a Black Christian with socially conservative views, but, overall, has developed a cynical worldview that shows in his work. Through parental prodding the author has also developed pro-Black leanings that were sharpened and strengthened at his alma mater, Fisk University. Much of the author’s initial works were penned there.
Creatively-speaking, the author believes that a writer ultimately pulls from his own experiences and fantasies when writing stories. Thus it is the author’s belief that if one truly wants to understand a person, one should read their work.
Get to know Russell:
Who was your role model growing up?
Two people: my father and Darth Vader. My father taught me patience and responsibility, but I’ve always wanted to be like Darth Vader.
What is your goal as a writer?
My goal as a writer is to be significant. Fifty years from now, I want someone to look back at one of my books and say, “This was the beginning of something big”.
Why are you a Christian?
Well, first off, because I’ve found that Jesus Christ takes care of me. Secondly, Christianity is the religion that allows me to eat the most food.
Why did you name your second book “Squirrels & Puppies” in spite of its dark themes?
Well, I didn’t like how many reviewers balked at the title of my first book “Rape & Killing”. I felt the book was unfairly judged by its title, so I decided to strike back by taking the stories from my first book, adding seven darker stories, and calling it “Squirrels & Puppies”. Of course, the book received a better reception from critics.
Why do your stories have sex & violence in them?
Well, your average story is about conflict and conflict resolution. Contrary to popular opinion, people solve most of their conflicts with violence. Some choose to allow violence to be done to them, while others choose to be aggressively violent. Either way, the conflict is resolved with violence. Thus a story that truly relates to the human condition must have violence in it. Otherwise, it’s unbelievable.
As far as sex is concerned, I don’t think my stories are very sexual. There is sex in a couple of them, but it’s rarely my main focus. I see sex as a natural part of life, and, thus, a natural part of literature.
In one of your stories, a man is choked to death when his pet animal defecates in his mouth. Is this what you consider a natural part of life?
No. As an author I do have to think of interesting scenarios for natural phenomena, such as violence. We live in a violent world, but not everyone gets choked to death by their pet’s fecal matter.
Do you plan to continue writing more stories?
Yes, of course. I have to finish my “Ruins of the Fall” trilogy, and I’m currently working on another book of short stories, “Flowers & Kittens”.