Eric Klein Author

Interview Keyla Damaer

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Today we are visited by Keyla Damaer who has come to tell us about her The Sehnsucht Series








What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

When I started writing about one of the alien species, I wanted their system to be binary, because I thought I needed two suns for the plot to work.

However, I knew nothing of binary systems at the time. So, I made some researches, read a few papers, and talked with an expert, to find out that the solution to my problem was way simpler than I thought, but in any way related to a binary system.

Why did you choose this setting?

I can’t say that I chose the setting. The characters did.

My stories are very characters centered. Once I figured out a character – its gender, physical aspect, age, sexual and political orientation, personal background – it’s the character itself to find its own settings.

So, in a story where there are no heroes and no good guys against bad guys, but a melting pot of people from different races and species who can do both good and bad things for the wrong or the right reasons, the setting was obviously space.

I’ve always been fascinated by it, and by different cultures. Writing a story about aliens and humans interacting together in the Milky Way was inevitable.

What’s unique about your world?

I do not know if this is unique about my world, but in every fiction I read so far, any complete series I found, sci-fi or not, the villain was always defeated in the end, and the good guys prevailed. I must admit I find that solution quite unreal. Mostly because in life there are no villains. We all think of ourselves as good people, and I am pretty sure that includes past and present dictators, torturers, and mass murderers. So, on that aspect, there are no villains in my world. Or, if you prefer, they all are. Most of my characters are people like you and me who find themselves in a condition of extreme danger or stress most of the time. There is an ongoing intergalactic war in the background, and it certainly influences the lives of all my characters, the main ones and the minor ones alike.

How real do you think the science is in your book?

While writing my stories, I do a lot of researches, especially regarding science, but not only.

Three aspects are prominent in my studies: medicine, human and animal biology, and planetary orbits.

In regard to medicine, I had to do researches in many fields, including genetics, surgery, neurology, psychology. Thanks to these sciences, I was able to explain how some invented devices work.

About the second subject, I specifically used biology from our world to create alien species.

Every time I invent a new species, I want to visualise them, which means they need specific features. I usually ‘steal’ them from the animal world. Once I decided what traits I want/need, I search for the proper animals with them. But sometimes it is the other way around: I read an article about some animals and I decide to add some of those traits to one of my aliens. In the process, I studied bats, reptiles, monkeys and many predators.

Finally, I did many researches regarding the solar system, its planets’ orbits, their inclination, their seasons, and their distance from the sun. Mostly because I needed to design a calendar for the main alien species in the series, the Manderians. I can’t say my calendar is scientifically accurate, but I gave it a lot of thought before creating it the way it is.

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech behind it? What is the tech?

It’s definitely a virus. I can’t explain the details of the tech behind it because it would be a major spoiler, but I can tell you that it is used during the war.

So, again, I made a lot of researches about viruses: how they affect the human body and the responses of the immune system.

What did you include that you wish was real today?

This is easy. Definitely space travel. I doubt I will be able to experience that in my life. It’s too soon, but I think that somehow we will find a way to travel far distances in space. I know today it is not possible, but if you think about it, when the man landed on Earth’s satellite it seemed something so extraordinary.

Don’t get me wrong, it still is, but watching astronauts moving back and forth from the ISS today is almost a routine. Who would have expected that back in 1969 when Armstrong set the first human foot on the moon? Aside from a group of visionary artists, not many people probably.

What technology or science do you think will most affect the world of tomorrow?

Nanotechnology and AI are probably going to revolutionize our future. The former already did. Think about the dimension of microprocessors. My first computer had a huge case, bigger than the screen. Nowadays screens are almost as flat as a sheet of paper and my Mac doesn’t even have a case.

In regard to the latter, Siri, Alexa and other AI of the same genre are just the beginning of a new era. There is a robot called Sophia with Saudi Arabian citizenship. Robot dolls are the new sex toys.

In a way or another AI will influence our future. Let’s just hope we do not end up with something like Skynet.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

The first book, The Parallels,  is out, and I am currently working on three more novels of the Sehnsucht Series. They are in three different stages. One is ready for beta reading, one is just a first draft. The third one needs some tweaking before it finds its way to beta readers.

I am also drawing the characters of my Series, giving them a face which is one of the reasons I needed to visualise them, to ‘see’ their physical traits.