Happy Wednesday, readers. Today, we have a chance to welcome and converse with author, Rick Barry. Author of the novel Gunner’s Run, Rick’s latest novel, The Methuselah Project (Kregel) is nominated in the 2016 shortlist in the Speculative Fiction category.
Below we talk with Rick about the inspiration behind this novel, and he shares a sneak peek into what’s next from him.
Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended.
Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed–until the day he’s shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.
When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success–but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn’t aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn’t Captain America–just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger’s sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there’s no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It’s 2015–and the world has become an unrecognizable place.
Katherine Mueller–crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle–offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he’s trying to flee? – Goodreads | Amazon
INSPYs: What inspired The Methuselah Project?
Wow, that’s a big question. First, family history provided partial inspiration. Dad learned to fly as a teenager in the 1940s, and my upbringing was filled with airplanes, airports, and airshows. (Over the years Dad cracked up a couple airplanes, but those are separate stories.) So, the idea of featuring a pilot as the hero of my story came naturally.
Next inspiration: I’m a big WW II buff. I’ve read tons of true accounts from the war years, which I find fascinating. I even own a collection of genuine WW II memorabilia, which I used as decorations to transform a guest room into what my family dubbed our “War Room.” The 1940s practically begged me to use that time period for my setting.
However, I grew up with two older brothers, and we often tuned into Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, and other science fiction shows. Quite a few times in fiction, a person from one time period ends up in another time period. The whole concept of a “chronologically dislocated” character appealed to my imagination, although I disliked some of the cheesy mechanics various stories used to transport a person from one time to another. My challenge became to pluck up a WW II pilot and deliver him to our own time while keeping looking young–and make it believable! What a tall order. Of course, I’m thankful to all those Amazon reviewers who claim The Methuselah Project sounds like it’s based on real life.
INSPYs: can you give us a peek into what’s coming next? The Methuselah Project was created as a stand-alone novel. Neither the publisher nor I touted it as Book #1 of a series. Yet, so many enthusiastic fans have expressed hopes for a sequel that I’ve taken up the challenge. Progress has been hampered by a move to another state and the need to care for my aging father, but the story is progressing. My working title? Methuselah Flies Again.
JUST FOR FUN QUESTIONS
What are you listening to? My listening choices are fairly eclectic. When I’m feeling “historical,” you’ll most likely catch me listening to Big Band music and songs from the 1940s. (The style of Glenn Miller and his orchestra really appeals to me when I’m “In the Mood.”) Other times, nostalgia might lead me to oldies from the 1950s and 1960s. I enjoy Irish music from Celtic Woman, and as a Christian I listen to a lot of Christian music, ranging from classic hymns to the songs of Keith and Kristyn Getty. Most recently, I stopped at a yard sale and bought a CD of Disney’s Newsies, which I sing along with while driving.
What are you watching? My favorite TV program is CBS’s Survivor. I’m a huge fan. I’ve actually applied 30 times, and I would hurl myself into that challenge even without the cameras, the fame, or prize money. The sheer adventure appeals to me. But there’s a lot of competition just to get on the show. So far, CBS hasn’t realized how perfect I would be!
Of course, since I worked one day as an extra on the set of Captain America: Civil War, I just had to go see that movie.
What are you reading or what’s on your nightstand? Last week it was A G-Man’s Life, the biography of Mark Felt, the FBI agent who helped the press uncover the truth about Watergate. At the moment, I’m reading the classic non-fiction book, We Would See Jesus, by Roy and Revel Hession. For a slim volume, it brims with spiritual truths any believer will find uplifting. Next up will be The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber. It’s Christian science fiction, and I’m curious to see how Faber weds faith with sci-fi.
Thanks so much for joining us, Rick. We’re thrilled to chat with you about the inspiration behind The Mesthuselah Project and learn about some of the music, TV shows and reading currently on your favorites list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR