Interview with Dellani Oakes - Concerning the Lone Wolf
Dellani: Thank you. I am delighted to be here.
SW: What inspired you to write this novel?
D: Back when my husband and I married, people were into role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. My husband ran a game called "Traveler". Much like D and D, it was set in the distant future. He began a game with three of us, giving me the basis for Wil, Marc and Matilda. The idea grew from there.
SW: How far in the future did you set the story?
D: I chose to set my story in 3032. I wanted Mankind to have fully established itself in the galaxy. So many sci-fi stories aren't set far enough in the future to be believable. I hope that over a thousand years into the future will be far enough.
SW: Your other novel, Indian Summer, is historical. What prompted you to write something futuristic?
D: The story was nagging at me to be told. Science fiction was among my first loves when I Star Trek and Star Wars fan, so that added to the mix. Historical is interesting, but so much research is necessary to make it real. With sci-fi, as long as I don't entirely blow away established scientific fact, I'm good. It's anything goes! I love it.
SW: Tell us a little bit about your spin on the universe.
D: Mankind finally made it to the stars. Over time, several groups came to dominate the galaxy, expanding beyond the Milky Way. The first to establish itself was the Navigation Guild. They provided all interstellar transportation. Next came the Mining Guild. They explore the universe with the goal of ravaging dead planets for their gem and mineral deposits. The third group to dominate is, of course, the military. The Galactic Marine Corps is the main militaristic force.
SW: Give us a brief synopsis of your story.
D: Wilhelm VanLipsig, the Lone Wolf, is a genetically enhanced Galactic Marine. Semi-retired, he does black ops and also works for the Mining Guild on a contractual basis. Because of the enhancements given to him by the Corps, he looks like a man in his mid-twenties. He meets and falls for Matilda Dulac, member of the Galactic Mining Guild. Together, they trek the galaxy following on the heels of John Riley, psychotic and evil commandant of the Mining Guild, who is hell bent on revenge against Wil.
SW: You say Wil's been enhanced. What does that entail?
D: Even he doesn't know the extent of the fiddling that the doctors did. It was done on a genetic level and their manipulating has left him more than human. They were trying for a race of super soldiers, what they got were genetic freaks who don't age, barely feel pain and can kill with little remorse.
SW: Does Matilda know this about him?
D: No. When she meets Wil, she's actually dating his lifelong friend, Marc. He and Wil had a falling out many years ago. Marc thought Wil was dead. The attraction is immediate for both Wil and Matilda.
D: Matilda is 26. Wil looks 26, but he's really 86.
SW: That's a huge age difference.
D: Yes, but they don't see it that way. In fact, Matilda doesn't even know right away. Wil does, but he realizes that he's finally met the woman of his dreams. She's smart, sexy, as stubborn as he is, stands up to him and doesn't fold at the first sign of trouble. She completes him in ways he never knew he was lacking.
SW: Tell us about John Riley.
D: John Riley is cold, cruel, calculating and has a vendetta against Wil. He has very good reason to hate Wil. How he goes about getting even—well, can't say he takes the best approach.
SW: I trust it all works out?
D: Not entirely. The Lone Wolf ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.
SW: Are you trying to torment your readers?
D: Of course not! So much happens in The Lone Wolf, I realized I had to end the book and write a second one in order to fully conclude the storyline. Besides, ending on the razor's edge will, I hope, compel readers to order Book Two—Shakazhan. I've included a short teaser from the second book at the end of the first one.
SW: Dellani, I'm really looking forward to The Lone Wolf as well as the second book, Shakazhan. I want to thank you so much for talking with me today.
D: I'm delighted to. Thank you for inviting me.