In the WildBlue Press Author Questionnaire, Tom Julian opens a window into the influences that shape his writing and offers a glimpse into captivating aspects of his life. From his dedicated participation in a children's charity to his resilience as a survivor of 9/11, each facet contributes to the captivating persona that enriches his storytelling.
Delving into the upcoming release, TIMBERWOLF, we unravel the distinctive fusion of sci-fi and spy thriller that defines his work. Tom Julian invites readers to embark on a journey through the seamlessly intertwined corridors of imagination and reality.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. It’s not just about war, which does go on for the soldiers for a thousand years due to time dilation, but about what happens when fighting men and women come back. Disconnection from society, separation from families and loved ones, and just trying to fit into a world that doesn’t understand what they have been through. I think of it as a more nuanced bookend to Starship Troopers’ pure militarism. Pick it up if you’re interested in a thoughtful, fast-paced, and fascinating look at how and why we fight as well as some very cool action and sci-fi elements. I’m a sucker for love, so the star-crossed couple that keeps missing each other in time is also a good draw!
Q: Who is your favorite author?
A: I love Kurt Vonnegut. I think it’s his inherent melancholy that strikes me. How he can move from a hilarious conceit to pure tragedy over the course of a single paragraph is magical. My favorite book of his is Sirens of Titan. It’s such a weird book that you can’t even really explain it, but it’ll make you laugh, cry, and ponder life’s big mysteries. I love his trick of being a breezy storyteller who imparts so much so effortlessly. He obviously worked so hard to make it look like he wasn’t even trying.
Q: Tell us five things about you that readers might find interesting or surprising.
A: 1—I’m very active in a children’s charity called Anchor House. It’s literally an orphanage for runaway and abused children. That includes helping them raise money and manage their technology. I also take part in their 500-mile, 7-day fundraising bike ride. Over the last 12 years, I have ridden my bike almost 20,000 miles.
2—Julians are interesting fellows. My great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather David Julian was a Rabbi at the oldest synagogue in London in the 1780’s. My uncle Samuel Gompers basically invented the labor union. My dad ran maximum security prisons all his life, served all over the world in the Marines, ran dozens of marathons, and has kept a lifelong cheery, delightful manner.
3—I’m a survivor of 9/11. I worked in the south tower and was directly underneath when the second plane hit. I got out of the area before it fell, but I’ll never get those images out of my head. I use a lot of the imagery from that day to describe worn-down, damaged places in my books.
4—When I was just out of college, I got the opportunity to pitch ideas to Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Voyager with a writing partner. We didn’t sell anything, but it was a great experience. The consolation was that they stopped us at one point and said “we can’t hear the rest of your pitch. We’re working on something similar.” A few weeks later (way too soon for it to be a copy/paste) a rather familiar storyline aired.
5—I am a thought leader in technologies that help run clinical trials. My day job is to identify and experiment with new tech and tools that might help cancer patients find treatments. It’s an extremely creative role and I literally mix science and fiction.
Q: What is unique, or special, or particularly interesting about your book?
A: Timberwolf is set in a sci-fi universe but also has strong elements of a spy thriller. I like to say it’s Jason Bourne meets Aliens. Unlike much sci-fi, which leans heavily into the spectacle, my books rely on twists and turns and are populated by unique characters to ride along with.
Q: Give us a hint about your next book project.
A: After I complete my Timberwolf series, I really want to do a straight-up action-adventure book that’s been kicking around in my head for a few years. The first sheriff on Mars has to stop a group of terrorists from taking over a mining colony. I’m imagining it as “Die Hard on Mars.” The working title is Mars Hard. Just kidding, I’m thinking Red Star.
Or an action-adventure story about a mission to mine 16 Psyche, the real-life most valuable asteroid in the solar system.