About the Author: Keith Carreiro is the author of a planned nine-book series called The Immortality Wars. The Penitent—Part III is the third book and the last installment in the series’ first trilogy.
Carreiro is an adjunct professor at Bridgewater State University and Bristol Community College. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Acting on his lifelong love of storytelling, Carreiro began writing The Immortality Wars series in 2014.
How would you classify your latest work, what inspired its inception?
I classify my latest work, the Penitent – Part III, as a Christian–based scifi, fantasy, spiritual thriller.
The idea for the third book, the Penitent – Part III, in my series The Immortality Wars originated in May of 2014. I wanted to write a story that had an epic sweep to it. In casting around for ideas, I thought about what would happen if I had the power to go back in time to our American Revolution and take key figures of that era with me 238 years into their future and into my present. I wanted to take individuals, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John and Abigail Adams, to Times Square in New York City, to Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai and London.
What would be their reactions to, and how would they perceive, their surroundings that they now found themselves in while visiting these twenty–first century cities? How would people from the eighteenth century, people who knew fire only for light and heat and horses for transportation, interpret what they were now seeing?
Arthur C. Clarke’s quote came to mind: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” [Profiles of the Future, 1961 (Clarke’s third law)]. Accompanied by such an incredible cast of historical figures, I saw myself fill with pride about the sophistication I had attained over them from a scientific point of view. Hubris is such a dissatisfying drink of saltwater for the ego to take.
I then saw myself, in turn, taken into the 26th century. I was no longer on earth but on an exoplanet surrounding a nearby star in this part of the galaxy.
I now had a beginning hold of an idea for a story. As I fleshed out the conception of the story further, I also needed to configure the kind of world I saw. What was the level of scientific sophistication like? Did the people of this time solely lean on science for answers to the nature of life and death? Did faith in spiritual matters play a part of their lives? Did war still occur? It became an intriguing thought experiment. In thinking it through as thoroughly as possible, I discovered that this story is ultimately about the battle between faith and disbelief, as well as how hope and cynicism clash against one another in the human spirit.
In the arc of development in the main character of Pall Warren, can the ultimate basis of truth within a fiction be found. In his quest for meaning, can virtue be used to combat and overcome evil?
How long did it take you to complete?
I started writing the original manuscript on Friday, May 23, 2014. I finished it on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. During this time, I wrote on almost a daily basis. I spent 133 days of solid writing with another six days that included story development and research.
Who are some of your top 5 authors or writers you look up to & admire?
I tried to configure the top five writers that I look up to and admire, but could not whittle it down any further than the list given below:
R. R. Tolkien
C. S. Lewis
Stephen R. Donaldson
These authors have influenced my writing because of the power of their imagination, their skill in writing and the mastery they demonstrate in their craft. They gave me the courage to create my own stories and they helped inspire me to participate in the mystery and wonder of storytelling.
Why do you write?
I want to be able to tell stories to people that will entertain them, and perhaps make them wonder about the nature of the world we live in and the life we are given for such a brief moment in time.
What’s the biggest take away you want your readers to come away with after reading your latest work?
I want my readers to enjoy the telling of an excellent adventure, and that they become completely immersed in the stories I have written and in the characters’ lives I have portrayed in them. I want them to sense the mystery, wonder and grandeur that is in this world and beyond that is available to us in the time we are placed here, despite the suffering and challenges each of us faces in our own lives. I hope that I have written them a “page turner”, such that once readers began following the saga of Pall Warren they could not step easily away from reading it
How is the writing/reading scene in your locale?
The writing/reading scene is very active in the area where I live, which is in between Boston, MA and Providence, RI. I belong to a couple of local writing associations and they provide me with a wealth of friendship and help not only from fellow authors and writers but from people representing all the various aspects of the literary field and industry.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Besides the Bible, I believe it’s a toss–up between JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, as well as his adult scifi, fantasy Space Trilogy.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
For as long as I can remember I always loved stories. It didn’t matter if they were told by members of my family, sung by some of them, or were found in books, on the radio, or on television and at the movies. Whenever I had the chance to hear, read or see one I would be totally captivated with the power of its narrative. Stories helped provide me with an insight into different worlds, perspectives and understandings about life. I was enthralled, haunted and captivated by the power of imagination.I wanted to participate in such an experience since I was a young boy.
How have you evolved as a writer over the last year?
I think that I have become a more seasoned writer, especially in the sense of being patient with myself not only in the composing of a story, but in learning all the various aspects of the craft and art of writing. Such patience, is hard fought for and does not come easily to me; yet it also extends to learning successful strategies in using social media, networking and marketing.
If you could meet, have dinner, have a drink with anyone (writer/non-writer) (dead or alive) who would it be?
George Lucas. I would love to hear him share with me his journey of creating the Star Wars saga and what his takeaways are in working with creative people.
What’s next for you?
As I am writing a planned, nine–book series called The Immortality Wars, I am doing research for my next trilogy in the series, which will be called the Pilgrim. I would love to share with you what I am examining in this regard, particularly some of the ideas I am developing for this part of the series, but I don’t want to generate any spoilers at this time.
THE PENITENT (PART III) on AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Penitent-Part-III-Immortality-Wars/dp/1950339122
End of Interview