OBS reviewer Lee is back with a new interview, this time with author Nate Scholze and his book ‘Escape from Eternity’. They chat about the inspiration behind the story, the relationship between the characters, love triangles, names, upcoming sequels and more. Enjoy!
Read the review for ‘Escape from Eternity’ here.
Lee: What was your inspiration for the story? It’s very complex. Did you do any research to come up with your ideas?
Nate Scholze: The idea of how eternal beings might cope with eternal life, and that our Earth could have something to do with their solution, has always intrigued me. I thought about the idea for ten years before I decided to put it into a novel and begin to write “Escape from Eternity.” After another ten years it is finally finished. Information relating to our origins has always interested me.”
Lee: Laura and Michelle’s relationship as sisters is very interesting. Is it inspired by anything in particular?
Nate Scholze: Laura and Michelle’s relationship is based off of many sibling interactions that I have witnessed over the years. I find it intriguing how a younger brother or sister is often the stronger and more sensible sibling, and how kids with similar genes can be so different.
Lee: There are a lot of references to Catholicism in the novel. Are you Catholic? What led to your incorporation of so many religious elements in the story?
Nate Scholze: I am not Catholic, but I have many friends and relatives that are, and I have always admired how people gravitate to the Church for strength and support in a time of crisis. Since Adrian, the visiting alien, had so many controversial ideas regarding how and why mankind is here in the first place, I wanted to show a strong religious element that would challenge his philosophies.
Lee: Why did you decide to set the story in such a tiny Wisconsin town?
Nate Scholze: Ephraim is located in Door County, Wisconsin, one of the state’s better-known recreation areas. This unique peninsula region has been likened to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and if there was any one place that would provide a breath-taking back-drop to any kind of story it would be Door County, Wisconsin. It has always been a favorite retreat that my wife and I have frequented for years, and we know it well.
Adam Blake is a purely evil, creepy villain. Why did you choose to create a nemesis who was so sexually menacing to Laura? Years ago when I was in my teens, I worked as a night cook at a local restaurant. Something hit me right away. Most of the waitresses seemed like beautiful Barbie doll types. I had no objection to that, of course, being a young man, but when the night manager, a gal in her mid-thirties, informed me the General Manager expected all newly hired waitresses to sleep with him, I was appalled and repulsed, and the idea really didn’t seem real. Since then I have come to believe that sexual harassment is more common than many people realize or admit, so I decided to highlight the issue. Adam Blake is a combination of the restaurant manager I knew back then, and of certain intimidating bullies I had the displeasure of observing in high school. The uncomfortable circumstances that Laura experiences at the hands of Blake emphasize her vulnerability in her current situation—as she was supposed to have been someone very powerful at an earlier time—and how at some point life can land an unpleasant blow to anyone. I always hated the Adam Blake character, and still do.
Lee: The love triangle between Laura, Colin, and Steven is interesting despite Steven being dead. What gave you that idea?
Nate Scholze: I have always found this idea so fascinating, how love carries on after death, and how death doesn’t necessarily change a circumstance the way a person might think. Many of us still remember how Ashley’s feeling for Melanie didn’t change after her death, in “Gone with the Wind,” the way Scarlett O’Hara had thought it would. And, in “Escape from Eternity,” Laura Whitmore and Steven Morrison have an unusual bond that remains intact after his death, at least to Laura—the relationship might even be said to be unearthly.
Lee: Is there any explanation behind the strange names like Menonan, or are they all straight out of your imagination?
Nate Scholze: I thought long and hard about a name for the bizarre alien, who was purported to be the greatest creative influence the Earth had ever seen, and eventually settled on a spelling that might imply a complete eternal connection: Three dissimilar vowels, and three similar consonants, to imply a universal constant. Huh? Pretty deep, right?
Lee: Do you want to continue telling Laura’s story, or do you plan on going down a different road with any future novels?
Nate Scholze: The sequel to “Escape from Eternity” is already written. I think it is just a matter of time before “Creation Theory” is published by me, or is picked up by a literary agent. I hope it can happen soon. The third book is still being written. It deals with an entirely different subject: The Earth, being ruled by women after a pandemic killed all men, or so they say.
Thank you to author Nate Scholze for an amazing interview!