Another interview today from an Avenir Eclectia contributor. Jeff Carter has only one story in Volume One, but as you'll read below, "Evolution" is the tip of the iceberg of Carter's contributions. "Evolution" follows the reactions of Dr. Kwame Singh, a student of theology, when he visits an underground cathedral belonging to the miners on Sheba. Jeff has kindly agreed to answer some questions about his work for the Avenir Eclectia project.
Chapman: I enjoyed Dr. Singh's musings on theology in "Evolution." He seems to suggest at the end that spirituality is hardwired into human existence. Is that where you're going with this story?
Carter: In that first story, Dr. Singh starts with a dry and academic understanding of spirituality from the viewpoint of pure theology. His first step away from theory is the realization of the peace that can come from such a belief system. He’s still on stable ground, but he’s also on the outside looking in. In later stories, he literally dives into the deep end, the ocean of Eclectia, seeking a personal revelation.
There in the darkness, far from everything he knows, Dr. Singh has a direct but terrifying experience. He is overwhelmed by his vision and ends up on the far end of the spectrum of spirituality, driven by a destructive, cult-like belief that will propel him into further stories.
Chapman: Do you find writing stories as part of a shared world more challenging or easier than having complete control of the work?
I think that it is easier to begin with a rough framework already in place. There were certain elements of the world that inspired me and fired up my imagination. Once the borders on the map grow more defined, however, you have to take care not to collide with other story arcs. It is satisfying to explore and define new corners of the shared world, but you also have to be careful that you do not close any doors that other writers may want to kick open.
Chapman: Only one of your many stories on the Avenir site appears in Volume 1. What are your plans for the other stories?
Carter: The story of Dr. Singh is an introduction to a larger horror story about insane, nihilistic entities lurking in the ocean and their diabolical plans for the fragile human colonies. My story intersects with those of a few other authors, such as Ed Erdelac and Greg Mitchell among others. I hope to release the complete story as a novel next year through Splashdown Books.
To read more about Jeff Carter and his writing, stop by his blog at jeffccarter.wordpress.com.
To check out the Avenir Eclectia project, visit avenireclectia.com.