Welcome to the second in an ongoing series of interviews with authors who have recently published books they’re out on the trail promoting. (Here is the full list of Atomic Interviews.) Kevin Rodgers’ debut novel is a post-apocalyptic, fantasy/horror thriller starring Princess Angelique Bosc, and is the first part of an intended trilogy. Here’s the official description:
“Pro Se Productions Proudly Presents CADAVER ISLAND, the debut novel from Author Kevin Rodgers! In the year 2212, long after the world has been reshaped by seismic cataclysms and polar shifts, Princess Angelique Bosc recovers from a terrible Hovercraft accident, which left her injured and near death. Her friend and physician, Dr. Laurent Stine, used his skills as a robotics engineer to replace her damaged organs with android components. Angelique realizes that her mechanical heart will require a fresh battery pack within 48 hours. However, a loathed and exiled warlock, Xavier Thames, steals all of the battery packs and transports them to his castle, Thames Keep, in order to build a time machine. Angelique, Dr. Stine, and their allies are forced to embark on a long, perilous journey to Thames Keep located on Cadaver Island. Can they reach Thames Keep and replace Angelique’s battery pack before she goes into cardiac arrest? Cadaver Island is the first installment of a trilogy by Author Kevin Rodgers, who introduces readers to a fractured, ruined world where forgotten, legendary creatures live and thrive in towering mountains, magical forests, and barren deserts. Angelique Bosc and her allies will traverse harsh, nightmarish landscapes to discover the secrets of the past, stabilize events in the present day, and unlock the mysteries of the future. Featuring stunning artwork by Adrianne Soares of Fitztown and mind-blowing design and format by Sean Ali, Cadaver Island is a mind-blowing futuristic horror thriller guaranteed to chill and amaze!”
I’d like to thank Kevin for taking the time to conduct the following email interview with me.
Mark Bousquet (MB): What is CADAVER ISLAND?
Kevin Rodgers (KR): CADAVER ISLAND is a horror/fantasy novel which takes place in the year 2212, long after the world has been reshaped by seismic cataclysms and polar shifts. It’s the first installment of a trilogy, which introduces readers to a ruined, fractured world where legendary, forgotten creatures live and thrive in magical forests, towering mountains, and barren deserts. The novel contains a prologue, eleven chapters, and an epilogue.
MB: Who is Princess Angelique Bosc?
KR: Princess Angelique Bosc is the protagonist of the novel. She is half-human and half-android because a terrible accident left her injured and near death. Fortunately, her friend and physician, Dr. Laurent Stine, used his skills as a robotics engineer to reconstruct her damaged body using an android’s components.
MB: How did the idea develop? How long has the world of Cadaver Island been rattling around in your head?
KR: I started writing CADAVER ISLAND in June 2011 and I completed it in December 2011. On a hot, humid evening in June 2011, the idea for the CADAVER ISLAND trilogy came to me while I was sitting on my balcony in Orlando, Florida. Strong gusts of wind, thunder, and lightning from an approaching thunderstorm sparked my imagination and caused a crisp image formed in my mind: the image of a huge beast lumbering toward a futuristic city. The behemoth, which is named Corruption, appears in the final installment of the trilogy, which will be called THE PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION. I compiled character sketches, plots/subplots, settings, and a sequence of events for the entire trilogy before I went to bed that night.
MB: CADAVER ISLAND is set in a post-apocalyptic future. What attracted you to writing in this setting?
KR: CADAVER ISLAND takes place in the year 2212. I’ve always been fascinated by rumors about a roaming, rogue planet named Nibiru. I decided to use Nibiru as the reason for why our modern civilization becomes disrupted and thrown into chaos. One of my previously published short stories, “Citadel of the New Moon”, focused on the aftermath of a near-collision between the Earth and Nibiru, which allowed the Earth to snare one of Nibiru’s moons as its own. CADAVER ISLAND’s readers will learn more about how Nibiru changed the Earth in the second book of the trilogy, which will be called THE MASK OF BEELZEBUB.
MB: Tell us about Xavier Thames. What kind of bad guy is he?
KR: The seed of Corruption was planted in Xavier’s mind when he was a little boy. I decided to explain Xavier’s descent into darkness by depicting him as the victim of bullies when he was a young boy. During Xavier’s adolescence and early manhood, he endures pain and ridicule after his fiancee, Persephone, rejects him and falls in love with his rival, Laurent Stine. Anger, jealousy, and greed allow the tendrils of Corruption to poison his mind and soul. Xavier becomes a warlock and is exiled from the futuristic city of Thyme. He builds a fortress, Thames Keep, on Cadaver Island, which is where he plots to destroy his enemies. But deep down inside, Xavier is a sad, lonely man who wants to be respected and loved.
MB: Dr. Laurent Stine first saves Angelique and then travels with her on her quest. Describe their relationship.
Dr. Laurent Stine and Angelique are part of the same family tree. Their ancestors, George and Kristina Harrington, are important characters in the trilogy. However, readers will not find out the truth about Dr. Stine’s relationship to Angelique until the second book of the trilogy, which will be called THE MASK OF BEELZEBUB. It’s a secret that Dr. Stine can’t reveal until he is certain that Angelique can grasp the concept of who he really is.
MB: The book description mentions that Angelique and Dr. Stine have allies. Who are they and what role do they play in the book?
Angelique’s pets, a robotic dog named Razor and an intelligent owl named Stanley, accompany Angelique and Dr. Stine during their journey to CADAVER ISLAND. In the third chapter, they meet a young boy named Alexander Blanton, who wields holy powers while he reads from his Bible. But Alexander is flawed and cursed: his father, Timothy, succumbs to a coven of werewolves and tries to lure Alexander into their pack. Alexander joins Dr. Stine and Angelique after they rescue him from a roaming, undead priest named Reverend Stark in the town of Blanton. In the sixth chapter, they meet Persephone, the Queen of the Elves, who is a priest and alchemist. Persephone joins the group after she concocts an antidote for Alexander, who needs the antidote to overcome the symptoms of his father’s werewolf curse.
MB: Now that we know a little something about the book, let’s learn a little something about you. Who is Kevin Rodgers?
KR: I was born at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama on January 17, 1972. I’ve been writing stories since the age of six, which is when my mother allowed me to use her typewriter. We lived in Huntsville until 1984, which is when my family relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina. Two years later, my father accepted a job in Orlando, Florida, which is where we’ve lived ever since. I graduated from Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida in 1990. I received an Associate in Arts degree from Valencia Community College in 1992. Ten years later, I graduated from the police academy at Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute. I’ve written several stories and novels over the years, most of which are now stored in my archives for future use.
MB: You’ve contributed several short stories to PR SE PRESENTS over the past couple of years. Talk to us about them. Do any of them connect to CADAVER ISLAND? Other projects? Or are they all standalone?
Pro Se Press published my short story, “Hellhound,” in the October 2010 issue of Fantasy and Fear 2. “Hellhound” is the first of eight short stories that have appeared in PRO SE PRESENTS over the last two years. Two of those short stories, “Energy Siphon” and “Claustrophobia,” share characters and settings with CADAVER ISLAND. The core components of several short stories, such as “Citadel of the New Moon,” “Demolition,” and “Hellhound,” were implemented in THE MASK OF BEELZEBUB, which I completed and submitted to Pro Se in September 2012. All of the other stories, such as “Stargazers” and “Paranoia”, are stand-alone tales.
MB: What’s next for Angelique, Dr. Stine, Xavier Thames and CADAVER ISLAND?
The final pages of CADAVER ISLAND serve as the foundation for THE MASK OF BEELZEBUB, which is the second installment of the trilogy. Angelique, Dr. Stine, and Xavier will struggle for control of a cache of battery packs. Angelique and Dr. Stine enter Xavier’s fortress, Thames Keep, at the beginning of BEELZEBUB. Angelique needs one of the battery packs to recharge her mechanical heart before she goes into cardiac arrest. Xavier needs the battery packs to energize a time machine, which will allow him to travel into the past and slay George and Kristina Harrington, who are the ancestors of Angelique and Dr. Stine.
MB: What’s next for Kevin Rodgers?
I’m currently writing the third and final installment of the CADAVER ISLAND trilogy, which will be called THE PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION. I’m writing two new short stories, “Evicted Tenants” and “Jars”, which I will submit to Pro Se Press very soon. I’m also working on a stand-alone novel, THE EMPEROR OF NIBIRU, which is the continuation of “Citadel of the New Moon”.
MB: Where can people go to learn more about Kevin Rodgers and CADAVER ISLAND?
I have a blog site where I post novel excerpts, short stories, and news about my writing projects. The link to the site is: http://kevinrodgers.blogspot.com. I’m active on Facebook, where I have a personal page (https://www.facebook.com/kevin.rodgers.733) and a CADAVER ISLAND page (https://www.facebook.com/reverendstark2212).
Thanks, again, to Kevin for allowing me to conduct this interview. Go ahead and give CADAVER ISLAND a look and remember, if you like a story, there’s nothing better you can do to help spread the word that leave a review at your bookseller of choice.
Mark Bousquet is the author of several novels and collections, including The Haunting of Kraken Moor, Gunfighter Gothic, Stuffed Animals for Hire, Dreamer’s Syndrome, Harpsichord and the Wormhole Witches, and Adventures of the Five. He has also published a review collection entitled Marvel Comics on Film, which covers every cinematic and TV movie based on a superhero from the House of Ideas. A complete listing of all his work can be found at his Amazon author page.