Welcome Kevin Bohacz:
Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?
I always loved books. However, writing was an unquenchable thirst that came out of nowhere. It was like turning a corner and finding yourself face-to-face with love at first sight. I honestly cannot explain how or why I began writing. In my early 30’s I was living in Venice Beach California and had just started a new company, which would become my primary source of income until my first bestseller many years later. I had all these ideas and emotions clamoring to get out of me. One night after reading Interview with a Vampire and feeling the wild emotions Ann Rice conjured in that piece of literature, I just decided I needed to write. After that night I wrote constantly. I was as obsessed as if my novels were unrequited lovers. I wrote in the early morning before business hours, at lunch, and in the evening after dinner. More than one girlfriend from those years felt that writing was my mistress and one relationship actually broke up as a result. My wife Mazelle, who I married in 1995, did not feel this way. She supported and nurtured me on so many levels. She was my lover, my muse, my manager, my editor, my #1 fan, and my best friend.
Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory?
It was 1993 and the offer was totally unexpected. My agent had been shopping my first novel, Dream Dancers for years and had run out of steam. I had an amazingly large and colourful collection of rejections slips, but I was not about to give up and was working on a novel that would later radically morph and a billion years later become the bestseller that made me a fulltime writer. My emotions when that first deal came in were off the chart! It was everything from relief that I was not insane to the surreal of a long sought dream becoming real. To say I was bouncing off the walls would have been an understatement. If my then girlfriend had been present I might have impulsively proposed to her. I was high on life for days and maybe weeks afterwards.
Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many?
Immortality and Ghost of the Gods are my 2nd and 3rd novels. These two books together form a single story.
What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret?
The last 5 years have been filled with strange inexplicable synchronicities. My wife, Mazelle and I noticed these events and found them impossible to explain in any scientific way. I’m a scientist and for much of my life I’ve approached mysteries guided by scientific methods of investigation. If I could not perceive something with my five senses then extraordinary evidence was required. I’ve always been spiritual but not the least religious and find those two realms are often in bitter conflict with each other. My spiritual side is guided by intuition. When I was younger, I was a seeker weaned on the philosophies of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a solid helping of Castaneda’s dream-work, but as a scientist I always remained optimistically agnostic about things spiritual such as near death experiences or the soul. This all changed for me, everything in the universe change for me when Mazelle, my life, my best friend of 17 years died in my arms with us looking into each other’s eyes. They say life wrenching crisis can transform us or break us. First I was broken by grief and emotionally dismembered then I was transformed and reassembled but not completely.
In the time that followed after Mazelle’s body had died, when I was alone and drowning in grief, I could hear my wife whispering to me, “Write my love… Write.” So I wrote. I wrote so hard that my arms grew sore. I wrote so hard that I gave myself tendonitis but the pain in my arms did not slow me. My writing saved me from grief that was dark enough to crush the life from anyone. I completed Ghost of the Gods in a short period of time while also simultaneously working on two new novels.
Something else came out of this dark time of transformation. At some point in the middle of it, I looked back over our lives together focusing on the odd pattern of events. Two years before Mazelle was diagnosed she began telling me that the world was spinning out of control and we were not going to live to an old age. She did not tell me this with any kind of fear but more a matter of fact kind of observation. I told her that was not going to happen. Science was going to help us live for a very long time. Yet I too was plague with what I considered “irrational” fears. When at rest stops on our frequent road trips to Laguna Beach, if Mazelle went inside to get some coffee or whatever, I would suddenly be gripped by gut wrenching illogical fears that she was not coming out, that she had vanished from the face of the Earth never to be seen again.
One night while we were in a Walgreens drugstore, her 15 year old very expensive custom solitaire engagement ring literally exploded off her finger. The gold band shattered in two places and parts of the ring went flying across the store in all directions. In wordless panic we scrambled to recover the diamonds and shards of gold. By the next day we were at the jeweler getting the ring remade and adding a few more diamonds. The jeweler was baffled and could not explain the simultaneous fractures or how the pieces could have been literally launched from her finger flying in different directions for dozens of feet. Once the ring was back and better than new, we were soon joking about the entire event. I would tease her that she secretly broke the ring so that she could get an upgrade. Two years later to the day and almost the exact hour that the ring exploded is when she died in my arms. I now have a list of over a hundred big “coincidences” which occurred in the three years leading up to her leaving this world. In our last ten months together, after Mazelle had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer these inexplicable synchronicities grew in intensity and frequency. Mazelle and I discussed them and noted their otherworldly nature. What were these events? The scientist inside my left brain has given up trying to explain them while my right brain simply calls them premonitions.
So it was with this cauldron of grief bubbling up in my heart, inexplicable mysteries dizzying my mind, and with my lost wife whispering, “Write my love… Write…” that I wrote the hope filled sequel to Immortality, titled Ghost of the Gods.
Will this odd sequence of synchronicities and premonitions make their way into a novel? How can they not? I think we all write from our soul and so this will have to come out onto the pages of one of my books… and that book is titled The Bridge. While The Bridge is fiction it will contain many events and lessons drawn from the last years of our life and the three subsequent years of my life when I was transformed by a horrifying emotional fire.
Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?
I have two books underway. One is titled Dream Signs and it should be on sale before the end of this year. Dream Signs while not a sequel is a continuation of the themes and cosmology begun in my first novel, Dream Dancers, which was about the unexpected power of lucid dreams. The second novel I am working on is The Bridge. As I mentioned, this novel unlike all the other novels I have written, will draw on some events from my life. It will be a highly emotional ride and also unlike all my prior novels it is written in first person past tense instead of third person intimate.
Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both?
I love hard science fiction and I love thrillers but more than anything I love the type of hard science fiction that is theoretically possible and set in present day, which is pretty close to the definition of one kind of techno-thriller. This is the brand of techno-thriller that I love to read and the genre that I write in. I often get compared to Michael Crichton since he is arguably the inventor of this type of techno-thriller. I actually bend the techno-thriller genre a bit to my own liking. Thrillers typically are supposed to be action and suspense first and foremost but I take the time to do enough character development to create fully realized three dimensional people. My characters are not perfect. They are flawed like all real people. For me the stories are all about the characters. If the characters are not 100% real and true to whomever they may be then the story stumbles. If a reader has strong emotions for the characters whether it is hate or love then the story soars.
The other thing I enjoy about my slightly bent genre is that I make everything scientifically possible. Making everything possible leads to greater levels of suspension of disbelief in the reader. I feel this makes the stories more compelling. When I am reading a story nothing can cause me to stumble quicker then reading something portrayed as fact that I know is not possible. Whether it’s something simple like a real street described incorrectly or a technical device that is highly unlikely, it all equals the collapse of my suspension of disbelief. The same is true for the characters. I stumble reading a story if a smart character does something slightly foolish just to move the plot along or vice versa. So the bottom line is that I write the kinds of stories that I love to read and my slightly bent techno-thriller genre allows me to do this.
What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?
If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?
It would definitely be Michael Crichton. The reason is that I consider Michael Crichton to be the father of the genre I write in. His early work and style resonates with me. The result of the collaboration would be interesting. Crichton’s books demonize technology. The source of the conflict in many of his books is the evil of technology run amok. Crichton and I differ greatly in our worldview and politics. Unlike Crichton I feel it is people run amok, and not technology, that is the problem. So any story we create would be a story of opposites colliding and hopefully we would not kill each other in the collaboration.
Where can readers find you on the web?
I can be found lurking somewhere near my FaceBook author’s page. So if you want to strike up a conversation, find out what I am up to, or when the next book is coming out, go over to FaceBook and like my author’s page.
I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.
His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.