Q: What can you tell us about your book title(s) and where readers can find them?
A: "Desert Flower" is a contemporary vampire story set in Afghanistan, during the U.S. occupation. The story is what I would call a cathartic paranormal tragedy that deals with the brutality against child brides, and Man's inhumanity to Man (and, Woman) in general. The underlying theme is alienation, and searching for redemption in a world where it's in short supply. A vampire girl named Fleurette, fleeing her native France with vampire hunters in close pursuit chances to meet a young Afghani girl named Ruhee who has been sold into sexual bondage. Their common suffering provides the basis for an unlikely friendship that takes them on a very dark and winding path. "Desert Flower" can be found at:
(Other titles of mine can also be found at Amazon.com; just search under Tom Olbert)
Q: What compels you to write?
A: I've been writing since I was a kid; I just took to it naturally, and it's all I've ever really wanted to do. Sometimes, as with "Desert Flower", a story can be a primal scream against the cruelties of this world. Other times, as with some of my science fiction titles, I like to deal with global issues that trouble me, or I might just want to explore an idea that intrigues me. Fiction writing is just a way to follow any thought or emotion to its logical conclusion. And, there are times when you simply have to.
Q: What is it about Vampires that inspires your writing?
A: I find vampirism to be a very effective revenge/catharsis device; it's a way for the victim to become the victimizer, the prey the predator. It's a dark rebirth that seems a rebellion against a fundamentally unjust world. My vampire characters are generally anti-heroes, hunted and alone, but they are unconstrained by the rules of humanity. They offer mortals a way out of the oppressive situations or personal purgatories which society imposes on them.
Q: Who are your literary influences?
A: I grew up reading Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Stanislaw Lem. I hope they haven't influenced me too much; Like any writer, I want to find my own voice. But, if there was one writer I wanted to emulate, I guess it would be Bradbury.
Q: Please provide a provocative blurb from your recent title:
"A lost dream, a desperate hope...lost innocence, and a horror black as night."