by Zackery Humphreys
About The Author:
Zackery Alexander Humphreys is a Novelist, Actor and Poet who occasionally dabbles in Screen Writing and Play Writing.
Hundreds of years into the future, mankind has gone under ground to relocate to the beautiful city of Epsilon. Epsilon is run by a strong, secretive government that keeps its citizens in check by subtle manipulation and strict schedules. No one questions its authority and no one is unhappy. ALN-896, an average man who is just trying to live a normal life, begins to have dreams; something strange and rare in Epsilon. In his dreams, he meets a man named Harry and everything is fine- until Harry dies. When ALN-896 wakes up, he shrugs it off as if nothing has happened. It was only a dream. But then the next day, he is suddenly arrested and sent to prison for killing Harry, whom ALN-896 assumed was just a figment of his imagination. Now inside prison, ALN-896 begins to learn about everything the government of Epsilon has been doing and he plans on escaping. Not only from prison, but from Epsilon. This one decision turns him against everything he has ever known and forces him to face against centuries of lies. To escape means to live. But what will it cost?
A black-and-white tie...----
Thoughts froze within his mind. Spit bubbled through his pursed lips.
ALN-896 finally managed to pull away from the exposed wire. He fell to the ground and wiped away the spit dribbling down his cheek. His heart raced, and sweat poured down his body.
That was the most painful sensation he had ever experienced.
I never should have grabbed that wire...
ALN-896 stood up slowly and looked around. No one saw what had just happened. He was alone on the desolate stretch of Simov Street.
Fortunately, I did not get hurt.
Instead of continuing, he decided to get back into his car and let a nice cup of tea calm him.
From the center console of the car, green tea was automatically dispensed into a cup. He let the liquid slide down his throat, easing every muscle that had tensed. He melted into his plush seat as he let his mind come to a halt. Then the silence was interrupted by a robotic voice. “ALN- 896, your vitals are irregular. Is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine. I went to inspect one of the house's trashcans as I was instructed to, but I noticed an exposed wire on the ground. I went to cover it back up when it...”
ALN-896 wasn't quite sure what had actually happened when he touched the wire. He hadn’t been electrocuted, but something strange had occurred. The only thing he could get out of the experience was that he had seen a black-and-white tie floating in the darkness behind his closed eyelids. Nothing surrounded it, but he knew it had been attached to a body. One he hadn’t been able see, but one he knew existed somewhere within the black.
“When it...,” ALN-896 stumbled. “When it shocked me,” he lied.
“Your job still needs to be completed. You still need to inspect the trashcans for Monday's workday. After your tea, you need to continue.”
“Yes, I understand.”
For people who haven’t heard of Epsilon A.R., make a brief description.
Epsilon A.R. takes place in a Dystopian city where everyone is happy and no one questions the government's control. Despite his blind trust, however, a regular man named ALN-896 is accused of murdering a man from his dreams and sent to prison. This is where he uncovers what the government has been doing and he plans on not only escaping from prison but from Epsilon.
When did you decide to become a writer?
My first thought of writing was in Sophomore year of high school when I started reading Shakespeare. I wanted to be just like him so I started writing poems. That snowballed into short stories and then to novels!
Do you have specific habits when you write?
I think the two habits that I've gotten into is not starting until its dark outside and putting in earphones (which don't play anything!)
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Night Owl for sure, although morning is my favorite time of day and breakfast is my favorite meal. I'm weird, I know.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is from Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451." I loved the character of Guy Montag and the setting. Bradbury's writing style is beautiful in itself as well.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
I of course love ALN-896 but Twitch is actually my favorite. He would just be a great best friend.
If you could have coffee with any character of any book, who would it be and why?
Roland Deschain from Stephen King's "Dark Tower." I would be a little intimidated but I wouldn't mind hearing some if his stories!
Name a book you wish you had written.
"The Dark Tower" by Stephen King or "Alice in Wonderland." My favorite book and my favorite classic respectively.
Would you like your book turned into a movie? Do you have any actors in mind?
I think turning my book into a movie would be amazing as long as it was done right. As far as actors go I think Ewan McGregor as ALN-896 and Ian McKellan as Chief Joseph Freedmen would be great.
What do you do, besides writing?
I used to swim competitively but now my focus has shifted to acting. Writing and acting take up the majority of my time now, but when I can relax I like to read, play video games and watch some good television shows.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski. Great book so far!
Name your favorite authors.
Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King and Lemony Snicket.
Best reward as a writer?
Seeing other people completely immersed in the world you created. I could only imagine what it feels like for J.K Rowling with Harry Potter World!
Biggest trouble you faced as a writer?
Continuing onward. Finishing a book takes a lot of time and patience and getting through that is tough. Especially the first time around.
Do you like singing or dancing? Does music inspire you?
Yes I like singing and I love dancing. I used to swing dance which was a lot of fun. Music does inspire me but I find it too hard to listen to music while writing. I need silence.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Top 5 of all time:
1. The Walking Dead
3. Breaking Bad
5. Doctor Who
Top 3 of all time:
1. Cloud Atlas
3. The Prestige
What thing do you wish you could do and you can't?
Being able to fly.
If someone made a movie of your life, which event MUST be included?
So much of what I now do in life has been the result, in one way or another, of my decision to start swimming in high school. It was a massive part in my life and has shaped me and the things around me greatly.
Thanks for this amazing interview Zackery!